Lead singer and lyricist Jerri Queen is no longer belting from behind the drum kit; he’s now up front and strumming the guitar on their latest LP. Vacation bridges Southern California beach-town punk (Audacity, Toys That Kill) and Midwest melodies (The Replacements). Alongside Tenement, Vacation is currently one of the finest propagators of fuzzed-out power chords and dense vocal harmonies all tucked inside a collage-covered record jacket. “Decaying” is short, sweet, and gleefully fatalistic: “Don’t worry, baby / I’m just decaying / And soon I’ll be something new.” And “All I Think About (Myself)” noisily grooves over bleak confessions. They skillfully wrap bad feelings (“Do you still cart around / That piece of shit you call a body / All of the time?”) in good vibrations. Through some wicked magic, Vacation uplifts the spirit while the soul dies—it’s entropy set to a downbeat, and I can’t help but beg for more.
–Sean Arenas (Don Giovanni, dongiovannirecords.com)