The Vaccines Break Into Brooklyn @ Glasslands

This weekend, after a well-received debut US show at the Bowery Ballroom, young British “buzz band” The Vaccines gathered up some street cred by playing the hip hole in the wall, Glasslands Gallery, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Jan 22nd.

Taking the stage just shy of 1 AM, the quartet quickly hopped on the staged at the sold out show, and singer Justin Young thanked the crowd for sticking around, before launching into their ra-ra anthem, “Wreckin’ Bar.”

It almost seems a little unfair that it took me longer to write this blog entry than it did for The Vaccines to play their compact 30-minute set. Performance-wise the brevity of their songs works against them when played concurrently — with songs barely stretching into the two minute mark, my tired old ears could barely figure out when one charmingly punkish song ended and the next one started.

I’m finding it a little hard to come to a conclusion about this band — the set seemed to fly by in an instant, and the group’s onstage charisma was not incredibly arresting, but keeping in mind that this group has been together less than a year, and already produced some solid (albeit incredibly short) songs, I’d be really very curious to see them as they get more gigs under their belt and perhaps start playing around with their set lists and performance arcs.

All in all, a tasty debut — but one that had me wanting just that much more.

Setlist below.
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First Music Boner of 2011: The Vaccines

I admittedly have my ebbs and flows when it comes to my interest in music, and 2010 was definitely a year in which I leaned upon my American sensibilities with interest in more homegrown talent, with genuine affections for groups that many would label “standard” indie hipster favorites — Best Coast, Wavves, Warpaint, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. — mixed with deliciously horrible pop loves like Bruno Mars. But something in the air is telling me 2011 is going to be a strong year for UK obsessions.

To start 2011 with a Brit-flavored beginning, I’m going to direct you to a band I just saw on MTVU (possibly the only MTV channel that actually plays music videos) called The Vaccines. Up until a few months ago, they didn’t even have a website or MySpace page and only just played their first London gig in October, but as soon as they had, the British press got themselves into a frenzy, hailing The Vaccines as the leaders of a new wave of (British) music.

With lead singer Justin James Hayward-Young‘s ties to successful acts like Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, and Noah and the Whale, the band already has a head start in terms of respected industry buzz, but it remains to be seen whether the four piece will fare just as well here in the States. Sink or swim time comes in just a few weeks with their first New York City shows at Bowery Ballroom and Glasslands on the 20th and 22nd respectively. 32ft/sec is predicting a US win, while Soundbites is cautiously hedging his bets with a wait and see attitude. I’m on the hopefully optimistic side, their song “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra),” really winning me over with it’s fast, upbeat tempo, and the perfectly situated extremely British “crowd chanting section”. I’m rooting for these guys.

Mesmerizing twirling disco ball music video for “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”:

More on The Vaccines: Drowned in Sound, My Old Kentucky Blog