Such busy bees! Not only is their second album out in less than a month, but they’ve also recorded four very lovely, eclectic covers, and made them their own. From a reworking of ABBA’s ‘The Winner Takes It All’, to a beautiful rendition of Johnny Cash’s ‘The Beast In Me’, Wire’s ‘Mannequin’ and Jonathan Richman’s ‘That Summer Feeling’, the acoustic Please Please Do Not Disturb spans decades.
Opening with a Johnny Cash song? Brave boys. It seems like this EP is showcasing a different side of The Vaccines. They’ve grown up just in time for Come Of Age. This is nothing like What Did You Expect, and very much like Johnny’s 1994 version. Other than being a relatively up tempo version (Justin doesn’t attempt to emulate Cash’s Southern drawl), The Vaccines are faithful. They are easing us in gently; this style of vocals and acoustic guitar stays with us throughout the remaining three tracks.
Wire’s ‘Mannequin’ is 70s punk. The Vaccines version is stripped back acoustic. The lyrics don’t change, nor do the “sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-oh”, but little else remains. Unrecognisable as Wire; unrecognisable as The Vaccines. In a good way.
Slowly strummed on a single acoustic guitar, Justin’s voice sits beautifully in the slowed down ABBA classic. Soft backing vocals emulate the original, upping the melancholic ambiance in a way Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid’s ballad doesn’t. Throughout, Justin’s voice is resigned; the woman he loved is clearly into ladies now (they don’t mess with the lyrics, and he asks if it “feels the same, when she calls your name”). While ABBA’s rendition is passionate and emotive, The Vaccines channel sections of the classic, a singular voice and a simple guitar are all that’s need.
‘That Summer Feeling’, the closing track, is the longest on the EP. To finish, the boys have opted for another true-to-original track. Although it’s well executed, if there was a weaker track it might have to be this one. The original is lovely and so is this. Potentially verging on karaoke. Do another ABBA one.
Overall, The acoustic Vaccines are pretty cracking. Download and enjoy. Its free and all.
By Maddie Russell
Dance Yrself Clean