The Vaccines’ Come of Age was one of my favorite albums of 2012. I never reviewed it because I felt like it was too far to the left of what I normally listen to for me to accurately write about it. Their songs are a mix of lo-fi and punk and I’m not hugely knowledgeable about either genre, if I’m being totally honest. If I were to sum them up right now I’d have to say they have the catchy hooks of the Dum Dum Girls, the attitude of Girls, and the raw guitar sound and energy of classic Iggy Pop. I suppose that’s a pretty accurate description.
“Bad Mood” was one of my favorite songs from Come of Age and I’m pleased that it’s been released as a single. This EP features three versions of the song. The album version, a demo version and a live version recorded in Brighton. Interestingly, the demo version of the song is nearly a full minute longer than the album version. The first time I listened to the demo all I really noticed was that it didn’t have the nice, warm bass guitar sound of the album version. The bass was just as loud, but it was raw and almost jagged, more in your face than inviting. Having listened to the whole EP over and over a few times now, it’s obvious that the bass guitar sound isn’t the only thing that’s considerably different. On the contrary, the demo version is quite a bit slower. If you like your music really raw and chugging you might prefer the demo, but I find the album version to be more uplifting and energetic overall. By simply performing the song faster on the album version they’ve rendered it that much more catchy. I often find myself listening to disappointing songs and wondering if I’d like them more if they were faster, so I suppose this proves that there is something to be said for songs that zip along like a fine sports car. As for the live version, it’s like a mix of the album version and the demo version. The guitars are as raw and abrasive as they are on the demo, but the nice bass guitar sound of the album version is present as well. I should also mention that the live version is a bit faster than the album version, so if you listen to the demo then listen to the live version you should notice the difference in tempo immediately.
The EP also contains a delightful new B-side, “Living Out Your Dreams Backwards,” which is a soothing ballad with gently played acoustic guitar and a semi-psychedelic melody. “I would like to see you again,” goes the closest part it has to a chorus with all the trippyness of The Flaming Lips. This track also has the sort of moody atmospherics off in the background that you’d expect on a track by the Lips. It reminds me of some of the ballads by The Raveonettes as well.