The Vaccines - 'Tiger Blood'

Albert Hammond Jr produced track

Danny North/NME
Pic: Danny North/NME
Obviously, musical lore doth dictate that you’re not allowed to step foot inside Albert Hammond Jr’s upstate New York studio unless you’re prepared to tighten the guitar strings to snapping point and help him relive those halcyon, better days of ‘Is This It’. And so it is with the AHJ-produced B-side of The Vaccines’ new single, which couldn’t really sound much more like The Strokes if it grew a shaggy ’fro and started using the trust fund to woo Agyness Deyn. Is this a good thing? Hell yeah.

With its sped-up ‘Marquee Moon’-icy riffs and wallpaper-peeling lo-fi shudder, it’s clear who dominated proceedings on ‘Tiger Blood’. (Clue: not Justin and co.) However, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, given that The Vaccines clearly learned their trade from The Strokes, this track confirms a brilliant kind of passing of the torch, and proves the London boys’ unwavering commitment to the kind of quickfire rollick’n’roll that they’re doing better than any other debut-toting British band right now. ‘Tiger Blood’ is just one of the increasingly large number of reasons why they’re not just going to survive the first-year hype maelstrom – and their upcoming biggest tour to date – but use it to catapult themselves into a place where they’re sharing more than a mixing booth with The Strokes – perhaps a legacy too.

Jamie Fullerton

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