Slim pickings at this time of the year:Â traditionally, the point when taste goes on holiday and record companies bury their bad rubbish. It's enough to make you hanker for a time, not so long ago but in another age altogether, when Super Fury Animals and Creation Records thought it appropriate to release in single in mid-December that contained 50-odd F-words.
Nothing so incendiary this year, but there's always 'Wetsuit'.Â Not the most obvious single from The Vaccines' debut, granted, but the centrepiece of one of the year's best records – a moment of queasy reflection in an otherwise frantic dash of booze, regret and unrequited lust for Danish models.Â Not entirely out of place during party season, then.
'Does Holy water make you pure?' asks cheeky Justin Young, as if attempting to define the word rhetorical to the uninitiated.Â Whatever its cleansing properties, it would take gallons of the stuff to wash away the traces of The Killers' 'All These Things That I've Done', but if you are going to worry about the passage of time and the toll that your lifestyle might be taking then you may as well do so in good company.Â You get the feeling, though, that The Vaccines may just age a little better than their American counterparts, musically if not physically.Â For a start, you can't see The Vaccines releasing a Christmas EP any time soon.
There's more evidence to be found in B-Side 'Tiger Blood', which has the feel of a band not letting the grass grow under its Chelsea boots.Â Produced by Albert Hammond Jnr of The Strokes, it's a little diamond, all staccato vocal and angular guitar, the way you imagine a lot of their early demos may have sounded.Â Disappointingly, though, not a single reference to Charlie Sheen.