While there will always be a place for bare-bones punk rock, its nice when bands do some experimenting with the genre. Thats something New York DIYers Bomb the Music Industry! (BtMI!) know well. Vacation, the groups latest full-length, is full of highly relatable lyrics and pummeling power-chord riffing, underscored by high energy and flourishes of adventurous accompaniment. Its not exactly a deviation from BtMI!s previous output, but its their most finely produced and most concentrated effort yet and shows why they boast some of the most ardent fans around.
Opener Campaign for a Better Next Weekend begins with warm, arpeggiated piano chords before slowly building to a fuzz-drenched crescendo and concluding with a bellowed, cooperative hook. The song is so strong that its hardly disappointing that everything goes slightly downhill from there. Most songs unfold the same way structurally (though the structures are typically unorthodox), but theres enough contrast so that theres never a dull moment. Think of Vacation as something like a sunnier version of Titus Andronicus The Monitor, or even HÃ¼sker DÃ¼s Zen Arcade: Its ambitious and intricate, but theres a lot to be rocked out to.
One minor complaint: Rosenstocks vocals are usually weak and self-consciously hushed, like during the first few minutes of The Shit That You Hate, or so intense that theyre almost obnoxious; he rarely finds a happy medium. Nevertheless, Vacation is an all-around solid effort, undeniably fun and would serve nicely as a soundtrack for the rest of summer. What else were you expecting from these guys?