Not since the Arctic Monkeys has a UK guitar band generated so much debut-album hype as did the Vaccines. But rather than bask in the gusto of their 2011 debut, the four lads return in short time. The overarching lesson here? It’s utterly depressing getting so much love. Or so says singer Justin Young, convinced he’s just another mid-20s blasé sad sack schlub. “Oh I could bore you with the truth,” Young crows on the otherwise whimsical opener “No Hope.”
Tossed-off hooks are the game here – on the enchanting “Weirdo” it’s beguiling to hear the singer believe he’s anything but – and up-tempo alterations (“Bad Mood”) are rare but effective. Still, it’s trying to buy Young’s shtick thanks to ever-present surf-rock jangle – think the Drums channeling the Ramones – and pesky admissions that “life is easy when you’re easy on the eye.” Perk up, dude. This is the fun part.