Vaccine 7 – Silence
Release Date: 31/03/2021
Running Time: 41:39
Review by Beth Jones
The 90s was an era that divided opinion, much in the way that Marmite still does (awful, hateful stuff that should have laws imposed on it, by the way). Some stood aghast in sorrowful disbelief that the beautiful alternative scene of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s had been decimated by the upsurge of sweaty teenagers with oversized jeans playing bar chords in grunge bands, and swiped at left of field by insipid indie bands by the bucketload. For others, it was a ‘coming of age moment’, where the music of yesterday no longer needed to define their future, because now they had a new sound. I was stuck in a perpetual loop of classical music and Jazz for the majority of the 90’s, so missed out on most of that troublesome decision making and taking sides. I only discovered other music towards the end of the era, and spent a good long time sitting on the fence just to be different. I liked what I liked. I still do. Thankfully, that way of listening to music is now much more acceptable than the trench warfare of the 90’s, and the two worlds have learnt to live side by side. Aah… That’s nice…
Anyway, the reason for this reminiscence is today’s review subject; West Midlands based Alternative Rock band, Vaccine 7, and their debut album, “Silence”. Formed in 2019, this debut album has been a bumpy ride, mainly down to the pandemic, but also through a line-up change.
These guys very definitely sit within the sounds of the 90’s – a smattering of Grunge, and a hint of Indie. But they do bring it into the 21st Century, by using some Classic Rock elements (the paradoxical ‘making things more modern by reverting to classic’. If you’re reading this first thing in the morning, I apologise if you find yourself pondering this issue throughout your day).
Now, before I launch into what may sound like uber critical nit-picking, I wanted to say that I do like this album. It’s easy listening, and musically is structured well. There’s a good mix of songs, from slower, more acoustically influenced, to some that tentatively cross the bridge into Hard Rock. All the players play their instruments well, and Vocalist Marie Purcell has a beautiful tone to her voice. But I found that it didn’t excite me as much as I’d hoped it would. I can see lots of my 90’s favourites playing a part in their sound – Skunk Anansie, Pearl Jam, and Alice In Chains to name but a few – but it’s not quite there yet. It’s almost lacking in passion. Now, we have to appreciate that this is a new band, and a debut album, and recording it has been a trial of stamina, so I will cut them some slack. At the moment, I would say Vaccine 7 are a more interesting and talented version of 90’s Indie stalwarts Garbage (who, in my opinion, mostly lived up to their name). But they definitely have the musical skill, and potential, to progress their sound a lot further.
I actually prefer the softer, acoustic driven songs on the album. Marie’s vocals are more suited to these than they are to the heavier songs, and her emotion comes through a lot more within them. For that reason, my standout tracks on the album are ‘Poison’, ‘Mind’s Eye Fade’ and the final track ‘Day At A Time’. Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for an emotional ballad.
This is a pretty album, and if you liked the music of the 90’s, you’ll probably like this. I will be interested to see how they mature as a band going forward though, because I feel they have a lot more to give.
‘Poison’ (Album Version) (Lyric Video)
01. Silence (Album Version)
02. Out Of The Void
03. Poison (Album Version)
04. Don’t Want My Love
05. Mind’s Eye Fades
06. My Rain Will Drown You
07. Cold Blood Of Day
08. Rubberface (Each Time I Lose) (Album Version)
09. We Are (Album Version)
10. Day At A Time
Marie Purcell – Vocals
Tone Chambers – Guitar
Leanne Wagstaff – Bass
Phil Minal – Drums
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