Vamps’ sound reviewed as simple, boring

Music definitely has the power to evoke a certain feeling or sometimes even a season. Maybe you listened to a lot of Bon Iver when you were sad last winter and now “For Emma, Forever Ago” just reminds you of that one dreary December. But sometimes, music just sounds like something without having that prior connection being established.

In the case of the Vamps, their debut album “Meet the Vamps” definitely sounds like a warm California summer. It gives imagery of it being midnight in the middle of August, when bored teens are cruising down to the beaches in their convertibles for some warm water swimming and summer flings.

It surprised me when I learned that the band is from Britain—their adolescent and carefree chanting verses make them sound a bit like Grouplove (they did the song “Tongue Tied,” which was awfully present on the radio this summer) and thus the Vamps sound pretty American.

In fact, the music video for the album’s fourth single “Somebody to You”, which features former Disney star Demi Lovato, perfectly captures the vibe I get from them: they are four guys, either four boys trying to be men or four men trying to be boys, on a beach with their instruments. I know not why anyone would dare bring electric guitars to a beach but that is what they do in the video. I guess they are just so carefree and Californian and teen that they give not a single a care and are just going to run the risk of ruining their presumably expensive equipment in the salty water of the Pacific.

However we, the audience, do not actually know where the music video is set. It could be in Fiji for all I know and not California.

Regardless of the origin of the Vamps, their music has that catchy and slightly annoying quality timbre to it that makes radio stations love to play their songs to death. Just like there are made for TV movies, there are made for radio songs and this is the category under which I would put “Meet the Vamps.”

The music is fun to sing along to; this is undeniable. The chorus from the track “Girls on TV” “She got legs like Beyoncé / Give me the eye like Rihanna / I wanna put her on camera / ‘Cause she drives me crazy, crazy, crazy” has an upwards-lilting tune that makes it the kind of chorus you scream really, really loudly and really, really horribly.

Of course, the Vamps are fun and easy to sing along to because their songs tend to have a simple structure of a mumbled intro that crescendos into a chorus, singing another verse and then repeating the chorus another three or four or five times. Sometimes they mix it up by stripping the instruments away and having that raw sound of shouting with a basic backing of a bass drum. Other than that, the music is repetitive.

Every single song on the album has an almost whiny “girl you are so beautiful, please love me” quality to it. This characteristic can be cute. It really can be. Sometimes. When used in moderation. But I guess the Vamps do not care about moderation. By the eighth track, “Wild Heart,” my eyes were rolling so hard I saw stars and maybe even God.

The Vamps have no unique quality that sets them apart from the hundreds of other boy bands looking for fame and fortune. They have a sound that is easily replicated and just as easily forgotten. With that being said, “Meet the Vamps” is not a bad album. But it is also not that good. It loveable mediocrity is found in many other boy bands and is like a ham sandwich that has been left out on the counter for an indeterminate amount of time: I would probably not willingly consume it but if there is nothing else, I might.