The Bowery Presents
The Vaccines

The Vaccines

Porcelain Raft, Very Special Guests Drowners

Mon, April 23, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Webster Hall

New York, NY

$20.00

This event is 18 and over

The Vaccines
The Vaccines
What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? is the debut album from The Vaccines. Eleven songs, eleven tones of excitement recorded "quickly and painlessly" in just under a month in London late last year at the hands of producer Dan Grech.

It's a record that favours 'the song' over all other disciplines. It's best articulated in one of the record's shortest (and most dizzy) tunes, If You Wanna.

"That song was the turning point," explains Justin Young, lead singer of The Vaccines. "It crystallized what we were and where we were going. What followed was a process of shaving the songs down to their very essence".

If You Wanna cuts through with a sharp simplicity, so much so that the demo version the band put online in the summer of 2010 was rapidly noticed. It was a starting point for the band -- Freddie Cowan (guitar), Arni Arnason (bass) and Pete Robertson (drums) who, alongside Justin finally kick-started The Vaccines in the spring of 2010 after a fair few months of rehearsals honing their sound.

"We never set out with any sort of mission statement, but when we first started playing we quickly realised that through our shared love of the 'perfect pop song' there was a real bond, we all felt really invigorated and excited by the music we were making," says Justin. "If there was ever any quest, it was to create direct pop music with depth and emotion, the sort of stuff that the Moderns Lovers, The Velvet Underground and The Clash made sound so easy."

"A lot of the arrangements were much more complicated when the songs were conceived," adds Justin. "But we got to a point where we were confident to just strip everything away. Being that direct seemed to carry so much more emotion."

As Justin says: "some of The Vaccines songs sound simple, but making them sound like that is one of the most difficult things of all to do."

Consider the minute and half squeal of Nørgaard or debut single '
Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra), songs that perfectly showcase the kick-and-rush-riffarama of The Vaccines' default setting. They're much like modern lullabies, songs that wiggle their way into your consciousness and won't let go.

Or the stuttering Wolf Pack or the bubblegum romance of Under Your Thumb; confident, headstrong songs that are testament to the young songwriter's almost veteran status having written his first song aged eleven ("about girls and stuff, things I didn't really understand") and spent his teenage years in a variety of bands.

Yet The Vaccines debut isn't just Ramones punch and Jesus and Mary Chain swagger. Blow It Up is all woozy eyed atmospherics, evocative on record as it was at its first London outing last October, at the bands Flowerpot show in London. Then there's Wetsuit, more modern hymn than pop song, Freddie's guitar coaxing rich colour out of the skeletal verse and big, brave choruses. "I'm always been more into sound than songs," says the guitarist, younger brother of The Horrors' Tom. "That's what I bring to the band -- texture".

"My favourite song on the record is Family Friend" says Arni of the record's closing opus (in that at five, it's a rare venture over the three minute mark). "I think it wraps the record up nicely, Justin's lyrics are beautiful, but it ends the record on a question mark. Sort of like, this is what we do... but this is what we might do next."

"I want people to love the record like we do," says Justin of this band's debut, "but I want them to be as excited as I am about where The Vaccines go next too. I want them to join here and let us take them somewhere else. I'm excited about the next lot of songs I know I've got in me. I'm excited about what comes next."

What did you expect from The Vaccines? Excitement, thrills, melody, power, romance? You'll find all contained within their debut. Yet perhaps the most exciting thing is that its contents signpost the next dose you can expect next from its creators. Much like their name, 'What Did You Expect Of The Vaccines' is a statement of intent, that much is for sure...
Porcelain Raft
Porcelain Raft
Permanent Signal: according to Wikipedia, “a condition in which a phone line is off-hook without connection for an extended period of time.”
It’s a term that Mauro Remiddi returned to repeatedly when reflecting on the time between last year’s release of Strange Weekend, the multi-instrumentalist’s debut full-length as Porcelain Raft, and this, its proper follow-up. “In a way, growing up in Italy, then living for 12 years in London, and now two and a half years in New York, made me realize that I have some dear friends I rarely see,” explains Remiddi. “I was touring almost non-stop for eight months and I started having these imaginary conversations in my head with people I wanted to communicate with, but for one reason or another it couldn’t happen. This is where the album title came from: the idea of a signal that says the line is off."
Remiddi began working on Permanent Signal at the end of 2012, two months after returning from tour. It became a period of readjustment in which he was beginning to enjoy everyday comforts and reconnecting with friends, yet the thoughts of those unrealized conversations during his recent travels were still fresh in his mind. Inspired by this surreal moment of transition, where the reality of finally being home was still overshadowed by lingering feelings of detachment, he sold almost all of the instruments used for Strange Weekend in order to “start with a new color palette.”
This is immediately apparent in Permanent Signal’s opener, "Think Of The Ocean". The dense, basement-recorded haze of his last full-length has been traded for a spacious melancholy, where cello, piano and drums gently spiral atop the faint pulsing tone, mirroring the album’s title. While layers of synths and electronics still play a role, the new record is far more organic than Porcelain Raft’s previous releases. According to Remiddi, this was an intentional move: “I wanted to record in the studio just to capture the guitars and drums properly, and to have some real input from musicians I respected and loved to hang with." Remiddi enlisted support from Yuck’s Jonny Rogoff on drums, Antlers' bassist Darby Cicci (who also contributed double vocals and trumpet, and engineered the sessions in his Brooklyn studio), and cellist Gaspar Claus (frequent collaborator with Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner of The National).
Porcelain Raft’s once gauzy pop has now turned as vivid as a waking dream. During “Minor Pleasure,”Remiddi finds catharsis amidst the processed drone of organ and piano, echoing the gospel-dosed psychedelia of Spiritualized, and concedes in his otherworldly tenor that “there’s nothing hidden in what we see, sometimes you just have to let it in”. Meanwhile, the radiant lull of “Night Birds” reaches cosmic bliss, with a poignant sense of nostalgia brought about by the song’s crystalline guitars and synthesizers. There are tracks like “Cluster” and the haunting, Lennon-esque “I Lost Connection”, which deal directly with lives either on hold or in transition -- all universal themes of the human condition that allow the listener to fill in their own personal experiences with a permanent signal.
Very Special Guests Drowners
Very Special Guests Drowners
In the late summer of 2011, Drowners frontman Matthew Hitt found himself in New York City. He’s from a small town in rural Wales but New York is where Hitt feels most at home. “I just like the way things look here. I like the way things are done here. I like how late everything happens,” he says. New York’s signature up-all-night energy courses through Drowners’ self-titled debut, but there’s a sweet melancholy to the album as well.

In his down time, Hitt began writing songs that reflected this renewed interest in angular, compressed rock and roll. “The early songs came out really short – I thought, well, I’ve already sung the chorus twice I don’t need to do it again, that’s what makes it a chorus! I think that being in New York influenced what I was trying to do with economy in song structure and instrumentation. It’s like, here’s what I’m trying to say. Okay, I said it. Now it’s over. Onto the next one.” Gallivanting around downtown, Hitt also met likeminded souls, including future bandmates, Jack Ridley III (guitar, vocals,) Erik Lee Snyder (bass,) and Lakis E. Pavlou (drums).

It would take the better part of the next six months to secure the right record deal, but during that time the band gigged like crazy, ratcheting up their live prowess. They also released a well-received EP, Between Us Girls. By the time Drowners were in a recording studio to record their full-length debut, with producers Gus Oberg and Johnny T., they were ready. The first single off Drowners’ eponymous debut, “Luv, Hold Me Down,” is a propulsive slice of perfect garage pop. “It brings across this sort of jovial misery,” says Hitt, “It’s kind of pop, like a lot of the rest of the record, but lyrically, it’s not as shiny as seems.”

The other side of coin, according to Hitt, comes courtesy of the melodic and melancholy track “A Button on Your Blouse” which changes up the pace of Drowners’ self-professed brand of romantic aggression. “I always think of this one as our ballad even though it’s not even that slow,” says Hitt with a laugh. But it’s the cheeky grime of “Long Hair” that really showcases the easy, dirty thrill of Drowners.

While Hitt is responsible for the elegantly understated lyrics throughout the album – the kind that adhere to his Salinger-esque economy of words – he professes that everything changed as soon as recording began. When Hitt, Ridley, Snyder, and Pavlou began to play, Hitt’s initial blueprint and the band’s extensive punk music background melded, giving the album its true form. The group wanted to present something slightly different, says Hitt. “Our live shows are a lot more aggressive,” he adds, “With the album, we wanted to create like a sort of layered, fleshed out live show.”

The result is an album that’s equal parts playfulness and disquietude, toeing the line between music that sweeps the listener up, and lyrics that beg for their deep sensitivity and understanding. “Whether you think something is good or not is if you respond to it,” says Hitt. “I wanted to illicit a response, but I want them to get whatever they want from it.”
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003
http://www.websterhall.com/