There's nothing like an upbeat indie rock album that has a tinge of sadness in it to help lift your spirits. The sound always has a way of looking optimistically at a bad situation and eliciting a feeling of understanding with you. The Vaccines deliver feel good indie rock on Combat Sports to help you find that optimism if you're feeling down.
Combat Sports runs through a variety of emotions, but it starts fairly somberly. 'Put It On A T-Shirt' kicks things off safely with a classic indie rock sound, which is kept consistent in 'I Can't Quit.' These songs, while nothing special overall, provide that perfect "sad but looking on the bright side" atmosphere that gives it its charm. 'Your Love Is My Favourite Band' adds some warmer, poppier textures into the mix to add some more life into the sound, lifting up the album a bit more.
As the album goes on, The Vaccines seem to find more hope and come closer to what they're searching for. 'Young American' seems to serve as the turning point, the highly intimate track sounding almost desperate as it longs for the feeling of belonging to someone else: "So you can show me what my mouth is for / Suffocate me in between your thighs / And take me swimming, naked, in your eyes." 'Nightclub' immediately kicks back in with a lot more energy and life breathed into it, the chaos of the words pairing nicely with the raucousness of the track. The album closes anthemically with 'Rolling Stones,' celebrating the past and, unlike the start of the album, sounds like it looks forward to the future rather than being apprehensive of it.
The Vaccines deliver feel good indie rock on Combat Sports, telling a story with the album's progression. It starts off longing and trying to search for hope in a dark situation, but eventually stops worrying and begins to let go of the past and prepare for the future. It's a relatively standard album in terms of sound, but what it does storywise is fantastic.
Favorite Track: Nightclub, Young American
Least Favorite Track: Maybe (Luck Of The Draw)
Rating: 72 / 100
Stream or buy Combat Sports on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: