You know what? I really don’t give a monkey’s about all the hype surrounding punk-pop outfit The Vaccines. Furthermore, I’d like to criticise Britpop revivalists Brother. And I have good reasons why.
I’ll start with The Vaccines, the least offensive of the two. After hearing about their short and spiky singles that they were releasing to great acclaim (ahem, at least by the NME) I thought I’d give them a go. After all, I kind of like The Strokes and (very very early Youth and Young Manhood era) Kings of Leon so even though I’m not the greatest guitar-band lover in the world, I’ll spin anything once to see if it’s worth some pennies when the single gets released. But I was sorely disappointed. When I heard ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ it was everything I hoped it wouldn’t be. The best thing about the song was its short length. You couldn’t make a proper three and a half minute tune out of it. Er, actually, I don’t think you could make a tune out of it. What a fuss over nothing.
Perhaps what gets me the most about The Vaccines is that they almost seem like a bit of a joke: created as a laugh to make noise in a small student bedroom, but not to actually get out there and be a proper band. Still, 14 year-olds who think they’ve got decent musical taste will go in for it. Lord knows if I was that age again I’d probably fall for them too. But they’re 10 years too late. If they appeared during the age of punky indie (somewhere between 2001-2003) then they’d be great. But they just feel old.
Still, they don’t come into the ranks of shameful awfulness that Brother, i.e. that morbid 90s looking lot above (fronted by a much more punchable Aidan Gillan, seemingly). The thing about Brother is that they’re a cliche wrapped in a soggy flannel of staleness that’s then been put into the crumpled towel of annoyance. They think they’re the biggest thing since sliced bread and yet the only thing that’s big about them is their egos. Despite the fact that their frontman often sports similar knitwear to Foals’ Yannis Phillippakis, the bands simply aren’t comparable. Which is a shame, since Foals near-perfectly captured a zeitgeist last year in Total Life Forever while Brother are stuck in a boggy past where the muddy waters keep rising. Have a listen to this:
Ack. It’s like all the worst bits of Britpop rolled into in a sausage. Two more points: the main comment on one of their YouTube video is how Brother shouldn’t be as big as Twisted Wheel. And who honestly gives a damn about the boringness of Twisted Wheel? Secondly, at their buzz-gig at the Met a short while ago the singer announced ‘anyone who’s not ready to hear the future of music, leave now!’ A bold statement, better suited to experimental bands who use unusual black-magic gadgets than a guitar band. So yes, maybe we are hearing the future of music. But only if we happen to have been sucked into a worm-hole and emerged with the members of Brother, ooh, about 15-20 years ago. And they still might have been rubbish then.
So there we have it. One truly detestable band who no-one likes (read the comments on this NME Blog Post) and another who caused some buzz but are a bit tiresome after a couple of spins. 2011, eh?