The Vacation

Band from World War Zero

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On their debut album, the Vacation tap into an L.A.-based musical tradition that can be traced back to rock legends like Jane's Addiction, Guns N' Roses, and the Doors, exploring La La Land's dark, seedy underbelly through the eyes of an engaging wild child frontman. The music combines influences ranging from the straight-ahead rock of AC/DC and the raucous punk of the Stooges to the over-the-top glam of T. Rex, with Steve Tegel's crunchy distorted guitar riffs and Eric "Dutch" Suoninen's fuzzed-out bass grooves clashing and colliding to create a cacophonous clamor as Danny Weston, Jr. pounds the ever-loving life out of his drums. But it's vocalist Ben Tegel who demands your attention from the moment he opens his mouth on the opening "White Noise," sounding like the bastard love child of Mick Jagger and Johnny Rotten as he sneers, "I'm taking my medicine/Just wait 'til it kicks in/I don't need a reason/I'm just bored." It's his irrepressible attitude and explosive ADHD energy that make Band from World War Zero such a fun ride, with pedal-to-the-metal tracks like "I'm No Good" and "Make Up Your Mind" providing the perfect soundtrack for late-night, high-speed interstate driving. Young, dumb, and full of, er, testosterone, shout-along anthems such as "Destitute Prostitutes" sorely lack the subtle songwriting finesse you suspect the Vacation will develop over time. In short, there's no "Jane Says"- or "November Rain"-like classic to be found here. But for now, enjoy the simple pleasures to be found in cranking the knobs to 11, pouring a liquid lunch, and immersing yourself in a young band that embraces the "live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse" aesthetic for all it's worth.

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