The Vamps are a British pop rock band consisting of members Brad Simpson (lead vocals and guitar), James McVey (lead guitar and vocals), Connor Ball (bass guitar and vocals) and Tristan Evans (drums and vocals). They formed in early 2012 and signed to Mercury Records in November that year. The Vamps supported McFly on their Memory Lane Tour in early 2013. They also performed at several festival-style events around the UK as support acts for bands such as The Wanted, JLS, Little Mix, Lawson and Demi Lovato.
After James McVey met Brad Simpson via YouTube in late 2011, the duo began working together on their debut album. They later met Tristan Evans and Connor Ball and became a four-piece. They signed a record deal with Mercury Records in November 2012. On 22 March 2014, The Vamps announced that their debut album would be called Meet the Vamps and would be released on 14 April 2014.
Meet the Vamps is their debut studio album.
It was released in the United Kingdom through Mercury Records on 14 April 2014. The album includes the UK top-three singles “Can We Dance”, “Wild Heart” and “Last Night”. It debuted at number two in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Wild Heart (Released on 19 January 2014 as second single)
Album begins with Wild Heart with ukulele kinda sound, but its guitar. The song is inspired by Train a lot showcasing the various styles the band perform. It’s one of their more guitar led songs that will leave you tapping your foot and singing along with the very catchy chorus. Make you think of the lads stranded on a western desert. The boy helped writing this number. Tonight we’ll dance/ I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine,” frontman Bradley croons over Mumford & Sons-lite guitars and beats. It debuted at number three on the UK Singles Chart three days later. The claps in the end give it another happy-go-lucky touch.
Last Night (Released on 6 April 2014 as third single)
We will totally agree with Lewis Corner of Digital Spy gave the song a mixed review, stating:
“Co-written by hit-maker Wayne Hector (One Direction, Nicki Minaj), ‘Last Night’ is a sugary pop-rock anthem packed with carefree youth and mischief. “Yeah last night I think we were dancing/ Singing all our favourite songs,” they recollect over fizzy guitar riffs and jump-around beats. It unashamedly plays up to its target audience, but with pop hooks more chewy and sweet than jelly beans, it has all the potential to pull in the larger crowd.”
Somebody To You
The ‘Somebody To You’ music video sees Demi performing alongside Brad, James, Tristan and Connor. The song begins with Yeah you!, Yeah you!” which makes you anticipate a catchy tune and yes, you get served with a super catchy track. We were thinking that boys should have released it as a singer – because it is that strong a song. As they could have read out minds, The Vamps announced that Demi will, yes yes Demi Lovato will glam up the song and fans will get to listen to on July 6.
Can We Dance (Released on 29 September 2013 as debut single)
First though which struck my mind was “Bruno Mars” and believe me, learning a bit more about the song told me that Bruno co-wrote it! That man leaves his marks EVERYWHERE! Some tweeting of birds and powerful ‘rock-star-esque’ vocals by Bradley. Fast-paced chorus and prefect placed “Ow Ow” make it a hit. The number fought its way to the summit of UK Charts with OneRepublic’s Counting Stars. It’s a good sound for The Vamps, but it’s not their most authentic sounding song.
Girls On TV
The album’s fifth track is a summery, reggae laced tune that reminds us a little of “I’m Yours” star Jason Mraz. The track features mentions of Beyonce and Rihanna, but unlike tour-mates The Wanted, who put out “Walks Like Rihanna”, the band actually make it work! Overall, it’s a great song, and definitely one of our favourites from the album! The reggae-infused works. You can imagine Bradley sitting on a dirty stool in a hot tavern with his band mates behind him holding Clavinet, Bongo, and maybe a reggae guitar, and himself singing lazily with hooded eyes.
Risk It All
Breathy vocals, tap tap on drums, lazy strumming of guitars and maracas… a bit 1D-ish. “I’d rather crash, I’d rather crawl, Than never have your love at all, With only bricks to break my fall, For you, I’d risk it all” a bit OneRepublic too. Powerful vocals and of course booming back-vocals. It’s a standout. It marks their place a s potential band in the Boy band choking sweet world.
Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart)
“Cecilia” is a song written by US musician Paul Simon. It was first recorded by Simon & Garfunkel for their 1970 album Bridge Over Troubled Water. When released as a single, it reached #4 in the US charts. Boasts a slight hint of reggae, packed with another full-on sing-along chorus. Starts with gruffy vocals and djembe. The chorus is a melting one and the sudden change from Ziggy Marley-esque low-reggae the happy-go-lucky tune is SO catchy. The playing with vocals “Why-y-y-y-y-y-eh me?”, no doubt a full-fledge band’s performance.
“Another World” is a sweet song for the band, and it shows off lead singer Brad’s voice. This almost-acoustic with Brad’s stentorian reminds you of early Cody and a bit of some female singer I just can’t put my finger on. Lyrics are heavily inspired by Cody Simpson and Katy Perry’s “One That Got Away” with “In another world, Oh I know, I know, I know that, You would be my girl, And nothing would tear us apart. Another universe, The stars would light the way for just the two of us, And nothing would tear us apart.” A powerful song which do them proud.
Move My Way
The song is quite chilled out and fits in with the summer tinged style we’ve had so far. In between the chilled out sections of the track, the band once again provide a catchy chorus. Welcome us with some more smoky vocals of Brad and smoky-smoky lyrics. “do do do you, do do do you” adds a fun-element to the song. Lads wrote it. Ends with claps, tremulous vocals, loads of “should should should I, should I should I wanna” and barely there music.
Shout About It
Back to another acoustic ballad. I expected loads of claps, drum-beats and electric guitar cacophony but…? It’s a sweet ballad like “Little Things”. My kinda song. Lads wrote this one too and its quite a grown-up song. Then for the first time, boys sings together which totally makes your mind picture 1D lads singing “Little Things” live – “Tell me your fears, don’t let ’em live a life alone”. Lovely lyrics “I’m so sorry I can’t stop myself from staring at you” and the last stanza just wins you ova! A la chef-d’?uvre.
Reggae-influenced and cheery vocals. Not a stand out. A bit country, I dare say. McFly’s Tom help co-wrote it. Enough said.
She Was The One
A sweet ballad. Vocals sounds like Harry Styles’ in More Than This. I guess they are bit too much influenced with Miss Perry. Check the lyrics “She was the one who got away, She was the one who I never got to say.” Fans didn’t take the song very well.
Synth-pop and music you’d expect to listen in a OneRepublic song. The song makes you feel a bit like a daredevil. Don’t know about you – but I felt like this. Make you fling your air-guitar and sing like a rock star everyone is raging about. Those “day-day-day-y-y-angerous” are KILLERS! The catchy chorus in Brad’s husky vocals make it a more of powerful number. Should have released it as a single – it is THAT powerful!
Don’t know why but the beginning reminded me of The Wanted. Their signature style can be detected in this track too. The stretchy laid-back vocals which makes you think “rock star voice”. Yes I got, Lightning. The chorus is so catchy, a bit Union J-esque but hooky. Tells you a story of a love-sunk Romeo stranded on the deserted Planet Love “I’d sing your name over the airwaves, Crash your couch and sleep off or stay awake., If not tonight, maybe tomorrow, Cause I’m hung up, I’m shook up, I’m lovestruck.”. CJ Baran help co-wrote this song which is the genius behind Cody and Alli’s perfect singles. If you have heard Cody’s The Reason, you may also think that the chorus couldn’t have been more copied. But its a hit and on repeat in my playlist. No hard feelings.
The final track on the album is “Smile”. It’s the perfect track to end the album, really picking us up. It’s a lot more heavily instrumental, like the album’s earlier tracks such as “Last Night”. It brings us to the end of what is a pretty much perfect album.
In A Nutshell:
Overall, “Meet The Vamps” is a great introduction to Brad, James, Connor and Tristan. It comes across that the band work perfectly together, and displays a range of musical styles. The album is generally a pretty upbeat, cheerful collection of tunes, that wouldn’t go amiss blaring out of a car radio on a summer road trip.
So, what song could the band release as their next single? Well, they’ve got plenty of chart material on the album – “Oh Cecilia”, “Dangerous”, “Smile” and “Girls On TV” could all land pretty close to the top spot in the UK Singles Chart, especially as summer begins to roll in.
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Lewis Corner of Digital Spy gave the album a positive review, stating, “…Meet packs a big enough pop punch to pierce through the oversaturated landscape and get itself noticed. They may have a lot of competition out there, but The Vamps have proven that they are more than capable to take on the challenge.”
Meet the Vamps debuted at number two on the Irish Albums Chart, behind Paolo Nutini’s Caustic Love. The same album kept it off the number one spot on the UK Albums Chart. In Australia, the album debuted at number three on the ARIA Charts, behind the Frozen soundtrack and The New Classic by Iggy Azalea.
On February 12th 2014, The Vamps took to their Twitter page to announce their debut concert tour. The tweet read “…We can’t meet more of you on our DEBUT UK HEADLINE TOUR AHHHHHHH!!! We LOVE YOU AND CAN’T WAIT!!! LET’S HUG (KISS)” and included the poster for the tour. Tickets for the tour went on general sale on 26th April 2014 and reports of sell outs came from almost every venue spawning 2 extra dates in Cardiff and Bournemouth on the 17th and 18th October due to the overwhelming demand for tickets.