The New Pop Punk Darlings

[rating:7.5/10]

Vacations, the opening band at last Sunday’s Say Anything show at the Chameleon, hails from Lancaster and just released their first EP. With only a handful of shows in their repertoire, their extremely impressive live performance and chemistry of a veteran band in the scene set them apart as a band to keep your eyes and ears on. This EP, though a bit generic in overall sound and feel, is an example of what makes Vacations different from other fledgling pop rock acts. Quality production, perfect pop hooks, solid songwriting, and tight musicianship top the list of everything that this band does right.

The EP, Make Up Your Mind, could as easily be the new EP from All-American Rejects as it is the debut self-released EP by an underground punk-influenced pop rock quintet from Lancaster, PA. Each song is well crafted and fits the mold as alt-radio friendly rock. There are plenty of sing-a-long choruses and toe tapping melodies to go around. The production by Kory Gamble and mastering by Paul Levitt are major label quality work. The maturity of the overall production is more than impressive, it’s almost shocking when you consider the band has only been together for such a short period of time.

Two tracks stand out to me as the songs I’d choose as singles. The most obvious is “Falling for You” which also happened to be the band’s final song of their Chameleon Club set on Sunday. The chorus has the best sing-a-long hook on the EP. “Give it up and give it away, cuz all I’m trying to say is that I’m falling for you” gets stuck in any listener’s head for hours on end. Couple that with some classic pop punk whoa-oh-oh’s for everyone to sing along with and BOOM, smash hit time.

The other song I’d choose as a single, though it’s possible to make a case for all of the remaining tracks on the EP, is the second track, “Hometown”. Another song that’s easy to sing in your car, your shower, or at your desk, “Hometown” features some piano, which I’m usually a sucker for. Oddly enough the opening of the song brings Andrew W.K. to mind, but make no mistake this is catchy, fun rock in the vein of Something Corporate/Jack’s Mannequin and The Starting Line. I’d argue that this track could easily become your little sister’s favorite song… yours too.

Overal, what you need to know about Vacations is simple. They are a promising young band with a solid debut EP and an even better live show. Pick up this EP and see them as soon as you can.

~ by thepaintedman on May 12, 2010.

One Response to “The New Pop Punk Darlings”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Harlan. Justin Harlan said: @wearevacations on TPM! Debut EP wins over this critic. http://bit.ly/92cr09 […]

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