fri 19/07/2024

Album: The Vaccines - Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations | reviews, news & interviews

Album: The Vaccines - Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations

Album: The Vaccines - Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations

UK guitar pop rockers’ latest lacks ambition

The Vaccines: lacking nuance and soul

Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations is the Vaccines’ sixth studio album and their first since the departure of original guitarist Freddie Cowan. As with previous releases, it’s rammed with catchy hooks wrapped in in fizzy pop rock tunes – but despite Justin Young’s claim that “it’s about the loss of dreams”, it is also distinctly lacking any nuance or real soul.

Over the course of their previous five albums, the Vaccines’ music has frequently been dismissed as little more than contrived and light-weight power pop that wears its influences just a little bit too heavily. Not that picking up on the sounds of the Strokes, the Ramones and the Jesus and Mary Chain has stood in the way of the band shifting serious units since their 2011 debut album, What Did You Expect from the Vaccines? However, Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations takes their absorption of other bands’ music to something of an extreme by coming on like a ChatGPT suggestion of what the next Killers’ disc might sound like.

That said, “Sometimes, I Swear” is a wide screen anthemic indie anthem which will surely have their audiences in raptures and bouncing around like people possessed when they hit UK stages later this month. Similarly, “Heartbreak Kid” is an upbeat toe-tapper that barrels along pleasantly enough, while “The Dreamer” has big chords, big drums and plenty of umph. Unfortunately, none of these songs are particularly memorable though and they eventually just fade away, leaving no impression at all.

Nevertheless, Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations will surely keep the Vaccines’ fanbase more than happy for the time being and will no doubt provide plenty of backing tunes for the highlights on Match of the Day for a while. But whether any of its songs will be remembered with any affection once the marketing hype has died down is something else altogether.

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