In a world filled with cutesy boy band types like One Direction, Rixton, and 5 Seconds of Summer, a young band like The Vamps can definitely flourish from all of the attention. However, they’re not just another 1D or 5SoS because their debut album Meet The Vamps certainly showcases characteristics that help them stand out from similar artists. While still relatively young, they don’t strive to be cookie cutter pop rock or a boy band, but a band that has the capability to hold their own against similar artists without relying too much on other people (especially songwriting wise) to help them out.
For a young band, it’s really not that suprising that they formed predominantly from social media. Lead guitarist James McVey discovered vocalist Brad Simpson through YouTube and the pair found bassist Tristan Evans through Facebook with drummer Connor Ball being the only member they met through a mutual friend. Since their formation in 2012, they took used the successful 5SoS strategy by uploading covers to their YouTube channel before hitting the road with big named pop acts such as Selena Gomez, The Wanted, Austin Mahone, and Taylor Swift.
Meet The Vamps certainly doesn’t lack in the “I-will-do-whatever-it-takes-to-get-you” theme with tracks like the romantic “Another World”, the Jonas Brothers-esque “Risk It All” and their utterly catchy current single “Somebody to You (feat. Demi Lovato)”. The boys also doo-wop (“Move My Way”), play around with country pop elements (“Smile”), and successfully bring the world another “What Makes You Beautiful” and “She Looks So Perfect” in the form of the smash hit that’s “just-so-cute-you-can’t-help-but-love-it” “Wild Heart”.
When there are love songs, there are breakup songs that follow shortly after and The Vamps portray that common pop theme in emotional “She Was The One” and the peppy, island pop meets indie folk “Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) feat. Shawn Mendes“. They also include the uplifting, The Summer Set-esque track about taking the world by storm and picking yourself up when someone knocks you down called “Hurricane” (which I hope ends up as their next single).
While Meet The Vamps is filled with a slew of ear candy tracks from beginning to end, they play around with some adult themes they probably shouldn’t be singing about considering they’re younger than the members of 1D, 5SoS and even Emblem 3. Quite literally starting off that three song trend (in which it was the first released single and the first song off the album) is the “sexual-theme-hidden-behind-super-radio-pop-musicality” “Can We Dance?” Sure, it bleeps out the out-of-place “s-word” in its chorus, but it discusses how Simpson is more than willing to “skip the small talk and romance” and how he has “been a bad, bad boy/whispering rude things in her ear”. Both this track and “Last Night” focus on concept of partying hard (the latter very much a song about blacking out), while “Girls On TV” semi-objectifies women, but it can still double as a track that brings to light just how crazy obsessive the world is about the way women look.
The Vamps’ debut effort is solid in the fact that is extremely cohesive with smooth transitions that’s a little surprising coming from a younger pop rock band. Each track is bubbly, energetic, a great ball of fun, and possesses the same musical and lyrical star potential as similar bands like them. Their singles are prime examples of strong potential, but they certainly stick out with energetic guitars that hint at some indie pop tendencies (a-la American Authors) and clean vocals that are easy on the ears yet slightly raspy like a young The Downtown Fiction. While I have no doubts that The Vamps will be sticking around for a while, I really hope that the pseudo-adult themes in some of the tracks go over the heads of their young fans. In the meantime, let’s Meet The Vamps and really get to know them on a musical level.