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Sound Check

Sound Check


‘Combat Sports’

The Vaccines
Columbia Records

On The Vaccines’ 11-song fifth album, “Contact Sports,” the band of Brits offers track after track of colorful post-punk garage rock. It’s almost as if each song — lyrically and musically — was designed to be sampled in an Apple commercial (I think one song actually has been) or independent film. In fairness, much of The Vaccines’ early material sounds this way, too. Lead singer Justin Hayward-Young has admitted in an interview that he realized his lyrics were “really cheesy pop songs” and has chosen to embrace it in his writing.

On “Combat Sports” lead single, “I Can’t Quit,” The Vaccines stick to what they know, churning out another frantic rock banger. “Out On the Street” is my favorite, mostly for the gentler, catchy (not by much, because it’s The Vaccines, after all) chorus. ♦

‘The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968’

Released on Geffen/UME April 20, 2018

Fifty years ago on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. On the same day, The Who arrived in New York City to play the Fillmore on Manhattan’s Lower East side. The next two days, The Who recorded the concert live and planned to release the two-day album. But that never happened. Equipment failure from the April 5 concert meant only the April 6 concert was recorded.

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To commemorate the 50th anniversary, The Who released “The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968” on April 20. The completely remastered set used the original four-track tapes and includes two CDs and three vinyls. Short, raw recorded tracks include “Happy Jack” and “I’m a Boy.” One never-before-released tune, “C’mon Everybody,” made famous by Eddie Cochran, is spot on guitar by Keith Moon and Pete Townshend.

The highlight of the set is the entire second CD. A rendition of “My Generation” lasts a whopping 33 minutes. Roger Daltrey explains it’s their final song and exclaims, “It’s an old one, but a good one.” The melody flashes in and out from the original version, and at the end of the song, a piercing, screeching metal sound is supposedly of Townshend smashing his guitar onto the stage.

Classic Who. It’s a keeper for your live, classical rock music collection. ♦

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