Combat Sports

Combat Sports

After the pop direction of third album English Graffiti, The Vaccines return to their London rock ’n’ roll roots with taut riffs, shouty choruses, and the fearless sense of fun that characterized their 2011 debut. Bright-eyed vocals and punchy guitar match the urgency of the songs’ lyrics—“You can’t change me, can you?” screams Justin Hayward-Young on the infectiously upbeat “I Can’t Quit.” Elsewhere, the raging “Nightclub” pulsates with nostalgia for student life, while the contemplative and romantic “Maybe (Luck of the Draw)” offers a brief but emotive slowing of pace.

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