There are an infinite number of bands that sound like other bands yet still have enough originality to distance themselves from their heroes; that's the mark of a good band. Reinterpreting the past without straight-up ripping it off, Vampire Weekend's self-titled full-length debut sounds as if it's been culled from a myriad of influences. Extracting their musical direction from
Campus is the quintessential college-break-up song, with these lovely little lyrics: "
The triplet of closing tracks, I Stand Corrected, Walcott and The Kids Don't Stand A Chance are as good as any album closer I'm sure to hear this year, making this album a complete success front to back. Walcott is the "we gotta get outta here before we die" jam that all young artists write, filled with that suffocating agony of "home". However, the trip is to New Jersey (of all places!). I can relate a wee bit; I've spent almost every summer of my youth on the over-crowded beaches of Jersey, and one on the beach of Cape Cod's Orleans township. I'd be as well to reverse the lyrics to fit my own bullshit teen angst; getting out of NJ to reach the quaint flexed muscle of the Cape, reaching out into the northern Atlantic like a fist, daring the English to come back and take what was once theirs.
But alas, the final ode warns the "kids" that indeed, you don't stand a snowball's chance in Hades. Could it be that the shattered dreams of our generation rest solely on our parent's shoulders? There's no doubt that the preceding generation has left us with all of their problems, an all-encompassing, all-too-heavy burden that we have to figure out what to do with these; global warming, over-population, over-reliance on pharmaceutical cures for our perceived ills, polluted seas, food shortages, political corruption, racism, etc. Not to mention a serious oil addiction that seems a lot like the inner city crack-fest of the late 80s.