Combat Sports is the sound of The Vaccines being The Vaccines. Their fourth album is the sound of one of the defining British rock and roll bands of their generation at full throttle, setting aside pop experiments and concentrating on what caused the rabid excitement at their arrival in 2010. Combat Sports is a record of guitars, of brevity, of speed, of breathless excitement. "We rediscovered who we were and what kind of band we wanted to be," says singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist Justin Young. "We wanted to make a record to solidify that in our minds, and the minds of other people. We wanted to make the best record we've ever made."
Producer Ross Orton's work with bands such as Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A and the Fall made him the ideal candidate for what The Vaccines wanted to deliver here. The result is 11 songs that go back to what the Vaccines were all about in the first place: brash, bold, rock and roll songs that mix melancholy and euphoria. From pure Vaccines rock and roll ("Put It on a T-Shirt," "I Can't Quit," "Surfing In The Sky") through to powerpop ("Out in the Street," which was inspired by Big Star, and "Take It Easy," which came from listening to Dwight Tilley and Tom Petty) Combat Sports a record that defiantly reasserts the Vaccines' case to be one of the great English rock bands of their time.