VACATION: Self-titled: LP

Nov 17, 2011

There’s a neighborhood just north of downtown Cincinnati called Over-The-Rhine that was formerly one of the most proud and historic neighborhoods in the country. However, on the back of race riots, white flight, swanky malls, and restaurants on the Kentucky side of the river, and an increased number of “undesirable” folks in recent decades, OTR has been considered an uninhabitable black eye for the city. Maybe more of a black hole. This is the community that Vacation calls home. While it may not be explicitly expressed on the record, the feeling of Over-The-Rhine permeates this entire LP. Songs about friends who stick with you and friends who don’t, songs about dickhead cops and yuppie bosses, songs about riding your bike through your neighborhood as it gets co-opted by suburbanites one Friday a month, songs about misbehaving with friends on rooftops and writing songs about girls there the next day. Musically, it’s a punk record from the land of Guided by Voices. The drums and bass plod out your daily walk to work while the guitar is the nightlife: ranging from sunny and romantic to wild and thrashy. They thank Main Street OTR in the insert, but, for me, it may as well be the title of the record. I fully recommend it.  –Nick Toerner (Mandible/Let’s Pretend)