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Beatles-Inspired Light Rock: The Vaccines’ “Combat Sports”

By Nicholas Prescott; For the Clock
On April 15, 2018

While patrolling through Apple Music’s new music listings, I’m always delighted to find indie rock bands scattered about the list. This week I found a London-based group called The Vaccines. They’re a small group that echo The Beatles and The Beach Boys in their own, shouty, indie rock way.

The record, entitled "Combat Sports" and released on March 30, is a great sound for the upcoming warm spring days when all you might want to do is lay on the grass or drive with the windows down and enjoy the first warmth in months.

It opens with “Put It On a T-Shirt,” a riff-filled song that kicks off the record with an upbeat sound and groovy feel. While it may be the headliner of the record, it isn’t the top hit from it.

Track two, “I Can’t Quit” gives a nice contrast to the prior song with more summer vibes and soft rock shouts from the vocalist, backed with washes of distorted guitars and snare drums. Easily a favorite of mine from the album that echoes the group’s sound throughout the rest of the record.

Taking plays from deeper cut punk sounds, track seven, “Nightclub” brings in even more distorted guitars and pulls frantic vocals that sound like they belong in a garage band show. While it’s starkly different from the bouncy tunes in the rest of the record, it was a welcome sound that deep into the record.

And coming in at track eight with more pop-inspired, fast-paced grooves is “Out On the Street.” While it doesn’t round out the album, it’s one of the more experimental sounds from the album, seeming to try to speak to a more modern audience.

If you’re just looking for some new sounds to bring into your spring playlists, the new and fresh “Combat Sports” might be worth your time. If not, the whole album runs in at a brisk 32 minutes, so not much time wasted at all.

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