Brace yourselves, this is WAR!
This is what I've been waiting for. A new band that's got me really excited! I'm not going to lie and tell you about The Vacation being brand new and unique. I'm not going to tell you that they've started their own original genre or created a new and exciting image. None of this would be true, nor does it need to be. They present a look that's been done before, a sound that's been done before and even a style that's been done before. The old adage of "if it isn't broke, don't fix it!" certainly applies here. The Vacation don't need to reinvent music or try and challenge the world with a ground-breaking new sound. These guys are writing standard songs in a standard way and it is quite simply great.
The Vacation are blatantly rehashing the music of various artists and it's wicked! I reviewed their single "Destitute Prostitutes" the other week and was so pleased to hear a song that wasn't trying to be all fussy and pretentious. Now I've got the album, I'm delighted to hear more of the same.
"White Noise" opens the album and is a glorious celebration of two chords. Simple works, and too many bands lose sight of this. All these bands that try to be too clever and technical and the music suffers as a result. If a group doesn't have the ability to make a two chord song sound awesome, then quite frankly they should spare us and find a new career.
What The Vacation do have is a real flair. They have the raw talent to add the little touches that make this album such a pleasure to listen to. From the handclaps in "Spiders" to the backing vocals in "Make Up Your Mind", this panache they have for crafting their music is oozing from my speakers. The Vacation borrow from every great band ever. I can hear Jim Morrison, Johnny Rotton and Frank Black to name a few.
This threepiece centre around two brothers, Ben Tegel (vocals) and Steve Tegel (guitar) and I think that this sibling unison really lends itself to the music. Love them or loathe them, your brothers and sisters have a bond with you that can't be mimicked or forged by friends. There is a harmony with your siblings which allows you to not only live together for your first fifteen or so years, but it also allows you to move together. An inherent connection gives you an almost telepathic link and you can hear this with The Vacation. Their music sounds very natural and organic. It doesn't sound like it's been forced. You get the impression that The Vacation can just write these songs in one go. That subconciously they are able to play music without thinking about it. Sensing every dynamic shift and running with it without even realising.
Ben Tegel manages the difficult task of not only screaming like a banshee, wailing like an aged 70s rocker but also the emitting the dulcit tones of a wingy goth whose mum's just told him he can't paint his bedroom black. Not only that, but he can really sing and has a great touch for melody. All the while he is propelled by simple but superbly executed guitar and a driving bass line. This is what music is meant to be like; upbeat and fun. The Vacation deserve to be massive.
This music manages to have a very punk feel, but remains easily accessible to anyone that recoils at the "P" word. No, I don't mean POP! But that's who I mean....pop bunnies. The Vacation aren't going to offend any Robbie Williams fans. In fact, I think they'll love it. I can hear a few real singles on "Band From World War Zero". I'd love to hear "Trash" with it's Brian Molko vocals, on the radio. "White Noise" deserves an airing too.
For those hardened rockers out there, you'll hear The Pixies, Iggy and the Dead Kennedys. For the more media savvy, you'll hear The Vines, The Hives and Placebo. From where I'm listening, these guys can only get better. So the next thing for me is to see them live. And for you? Well, I suggest you go and buy this album.