The Vaccines – No Hope (EP / single) (Columbia Records / SONY)

Hmmmm, it sounds like somebody’s been listening to Bob Dylan.

Their debut album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ (2011) was filled with 2-3 minute perfectly crafted indie-rock anthems with notable influence from ‘The Ramones’ and ‘The Beach Boys’.

Given that the West London quartet’s debut album was so heavily stylized, many wondered where the band could go next. “No Hope” is the first single from the band’s forthcoming sophomore album and sees The Vaccines expand on the template set on their debut. At 4:04 in duration, “No Hope” is also one of their longest songs.

Starting off with what sounds like ‘Brianstorm’ by Arctic Monkeys, the band then drop out leaving just a guitar and vocal melody, which is so heavily influenced by Bob Dylan right down to Dylan’s famous drawl. To be honest, it’s a little touch and go before the song leads into its truly arresting chorus aided by lyrics that support the theme and title of their upcoming album “Come of Age”. Once the chorus arrives there’s no looking back and “No Hope” has all the ingredients of a sure-fire indie-rock anthem. It does however tread the line of sounding formulated and insincere.

Continuing on with the brilliant, lo-fi production of the first album, “No Hope” sounds genuinely vintage incorporating 60’s and 70’s influences this time around but still continuing with a punk edge including the “call-and-response” duringthe bridge and a Johnny Rotten sounding snarl when vocalist/guitarist Justin Young sings “I am so self obsessed” in the chorus.

The 4-track EP, which was released on July 9  includes new song “Blow Your Mind” (2:10)  featuring bassist Arni Arnason taking over vocal duties. Musically, it’s a return to the band’s Ramones’ influenced material meanwhile Arnason’s heavily accented, baritone vocal lacks any real spark or dynamic.

Complete with a live version showcasing the band’s energy in front of what sounds like a large festival crowd and a demo version of the single to boot, as the first taste from the new album “No Hope” indicates that “Come of Age” will be a slightly more complex listen than their debut but equally as enthralling.

Listen to ‘No Hope’ below.

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