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  • The Vaccines // SF Chronicle: Nothing trendy about their rockFebruary 15, 2013

    Vaccines: Nothing trendy about their rock

    Nightlife
    Kimberly Chun

    With dance music - and the redonkulous EDM tag - on so many lips and in so many playlists, it might be a tad discouraging for some to find themselves still in the thrall of guitars, besotted with a 4/4 beat, smack in the thick of a classic rock four-piece.

    Not London vocalist-guitarist Justin Young, though, who stands by the sound of his band, the Vaccines.

    "I definitely feel like we're out of step and what we're doing isn't in vogue," the 25-year-old front man confesses by phone from Chicago before a Vaccines show. "But time and time again, rock 'n' roll has proved that it never dies. We didn't come out of a scene, and we've always done our own thing - and people are always going to want to come and listen to people playing three chords on guitars for 20 minutes as loud as they can.

    "It's primal and sexy and exciting, and that's exactly what drew us to it. It's pure."

    That untrammeled, untrendy enthusiasm practically oozes off the Vaccines' latest long-player. Last year's "Come of Age" recalls not only the Cali positivity that pops up in the twangy punk of Social Distortion ("Bad Mood") but also the classic rock of forebears like the Beach Boys ("All in Vain"). Even in the face of dread ("No Hope"), the Vaccines take a more upbeat tack than the Sex Pistols could ever muster, though Young clearly taps John Lydon with his snarling delivery.

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