The Vaccines – Back In Love City

The Vaccines - Back In Love City



4.4/5 Pros

  • Great indie-rock with electronic elements and a huge sense of British humor
  • Very strong beginning and very good ending of the album Cons

  • Slightly weaker tracks at the beginning

In the current pandemic situation, you just have to do the review when there is a release by a band called The Vaccines. However, the band existed long after Covid-19 and is also quite successful. Nonetheless, they had some sort of wildcard in my selection of album releases as of 10th September 2021. Here is my view on Back In Love City.


The Vaccines – About The Artists

The Vaccines are an indie rock band, which has been formed in London in 2010. Remarkably, only one founding member has left the band since then – Pete Robertson (drums) has been replaced by Yoann Intoni in 2017. The same year, the band added Timothy Lanham (keyboards, guitars) to the band. The three original members are Justin Hayward-Young (vocals, rhythm guitar), Freddie Cowan (lead guitar) and Arni Arnason (bass guitar). The band already started very successfully in their early years. Their debut album simply asked What Did You Expect from The Vaccines?. I am not sure if the band themselves expected their 2011 to hit the UK Album Charts Top 5 and to receive a platinum record. The album got quite good rankings in other European markets.

The Vaccines’ second album, Come of Ages, even topped the British charts and received a golden record. Furthermore, it was Top 20 in Ireland and Belgium. Even though the two following albums, English Graffiti (2015) and Combat Sports (2018) had lower sales and chart positions, they can still be named as very success. Combat Sports, for example, peaked fourth in the British charts. On the singles side, the band was less successful. Their only Top 10 single was the 2011 If You Wanna, a British platinum record and Spanish ninth place single. In 2012, Teenage Icon made it to the eleventh spot in the Mexican English airplays.


The Vaccines – Back In Love City – Track by Track

The thirteen track album lasts 46 minutes.

1. Back In Love City

The album starts with the title track, which is a straight-forward rock track with electronic elements. The verses are almost spoken by Justin Young, while the chorus works with electronically changed, choir-alike elements. Really nice opener.

2. Alone Star

Alone Star has a lot of drive and power. I love the bass theme and the generally really wide range of instruments and sounds of this track. Not too surprisingly, the band and their team opted for this one as a single release. Really catching track.

3. Headphones Baby

I wanna live inside your headphones, baby
I wanna live inside a world, wherever you are
I wanna live inside your headphones, baby
Headphones, baby, headphones, baby, headphones baby, headphones, baby

I simply love the very catching chorus and the cool idea behind its lyrics. A song which strongly reminds me of songs by The Killers. One of my favorites on this album.

4. Wanderlust

Also need to smile about the German word Wanderlust, which made it into English. The song starts a bit slower, but therefore comes with full guitar (and distortion) force in the chorus. Thereafter, the song turns into what are the key elements of quite may Back In Love City songs: clear, straight indie-rock with hilarious lyrics – for example

I get so nervous when I’m on your surface
I go deep in your language, the meat in your sandwich
But I feel like Burrata and less like Sinatra
Alexa a sonata, prepare me to martyr

5. Paranormal Romance

I tried to reason with the man in me
But he was out of town, no keys
And so I’m locked outside the ark of time
And now the future’s here, I’m nobody

The lyrics above are the first words of the fifth song of the album, Paranormal Romance. I don’t give you too much more, but the song is again very entertaining with cool melodies, which might be taken from a bad Western movie romance and more laughs while listening. Musical talent with British sense of humor – fits perfect at The Vaccines.

6. El Paso

El Paso comes with an almost electronic pop and dream pop feeling – could be a slightly rocking version of an Erasure track. I love Erasure – and I feel that this song also just gives you a nice motivation to move to the music.

7. Jump Off The Top

Let’s do a headstand, do it in the quicksand
For the conversation and the stimulation
You can hear me out and I can stop being a jerk
Last year was hardcore, put us in a hot war
After more rejection and on more reflection
Maybe I got cold but that could serve us better in hell

Much more indie-rock style in this song. And a lot of smiles while listening to it. Needless to say that this track gets the E square on Spotify. A bit of explicit in the lyrics… But a lot of fun while listening!

8. XCT

If you need to have a proof that good artists can do a song about almost any topic, XCT (I strongly guess in the meaning of “X-Ray Computer Tomogram…) is a perfect example. One of the weaker tracks of the album, but still a good listen.

9. Bandit

Bandit is a bit of slower, but has a really nice groove (great work on the bass again). A song to dance and smile… and dance and smile. Good one.

10. Peoples Republic Of Desire

The guitar riffs are the key elements of this song. Nice straight rhythm, nice tempo – a song which is maybe not as genius as other songs on the album, but a cool listen.

11. Savage

Savage is a cool rocker, which also comes with some electronic sounds. Another really nice song with a nice vibe´- even though this part of the album cannot connect to the massive first half of the songs.

12. Heart Land

Heart Land is an homage to the USA – with the typical The Vaccines lyrics. The last two songs of the album lead to a very pleasing and good listen again. Heart Land is definitely one of my favorites.

13. Pink Water Pistols

I’ve been working on my mind’s interior design
Tryna give this place a little light
Sometimes it feels like I just can get anything right
But I’d sit in a windowless room every day
Tryna see everything through
If I thought it would give me a panoramic view of you

Last, but not least, The Vaccines show you how they write a ballad-alike song. Sway from the left to the right and back, enjoy the lyrics and smile. Lovely way to close this album (with its longest song, by the way).


The Vaccines – Back In Love City – Track by Track

Here is Back In Love City on Spotify:


The Vaccines – Back In Love City – Track by Track

These guys really do a great job. I had such an entertaining time with Back In Love City. Great music, lyrics which make you smile. There are some weaker spots in Back In Love City, but overall, The Vaccines did a job which truly deserves the Top Pick! banner on top of my review. Definitely recommend a listen.


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