Review: Fight through the blizzard of scrupulously meta promotional activity surrounding it and you'll find a record that deconstructs the bombast Aracade Fire have become known for, reveals the vulnerability behind the stadium sheen and offers a treatise on modern day superficiality and consumerism. Moreover, it makes a sterling job of all three - joyfully disco-inflected, poppily uplifting, stylistically adventurous and bolder than every before, this is a band who can reference ABBA and Bowie irony-free in a ditty about information overload and somehow get away with it - a bunch of eternal square pegs with emotional wallop and deft melodic skills at their disposal, constantly in search of musical worlds beyond empty rhetoric and grandstanding gestures.
Review: If there was ever a flaw to The Vaccines' apparent world domination masterplan, it was that their musical horizons didn't appear to extend much outside the world of straightforward indie guitar rock, yet on the evidence of 'English Graffitti', this has been rectified, and how. With the production assistance of Flaming Lips legend Dave Fridmann, this third album is chock full of sunny enthusiasm and sonic experimentation, lurching into straight-up pop territory on single 'Minimal Affection' just as easily as it tackles an arch Sparks/Devo curveball like '20/20'. It may have been youthful chutzpah that intially marked The Vaccines' arrival, but here the band has audibly grown up, and it rather suits them.