Review: Vacation - Bomb the Music Industry!
Written by Enoch Kim(@ProCreateEnoch)
So getting personal here, winter’s been pretty crap for me. I’ve been feeling depression, I burned bridges with some assholes I once called friends, I’ve been feeling especially demotivated to finish work (I’m writing this on the Sunday this is supposed to come out). Most of all, I’ve been feeling of winter. I usually love the mild cold in California but the rain, the grey clouds, the grueling routine’s been getting to me. And I miss summer and all its hot humid weather and long days of doing fuck-all with friends.
So I guess that’s why lately Vacation by Bomb the Music Industry!’s been really relatable for me. BtMI’s last album before signing off this past month, I’ve been listening to it non-stop for months now and it’s because it so perfectly encapsulates summer.
Vacation is definitely a summer album but when “summer album” comes to mind I usually think happy, laid back beats and lighthearted lyrics. Because that’s what summer’s about right? Kicking back and having fun with your friends? I mean, I guess ideally but my summer’s always been messier than how Will Smith describes his.
From the first track, frontman Jeff Rosenstock describes a day when he rode out to the post office on his newly repaired bike and then got hit by a car on the way, brutally scraping his knee, and musing that if we complained about every little thing (though this is quite the “little thing”) we’d miss out on anything nice. You gotta go through a couple scraped knees for your summer. That’s the message around Vacation. Backed by Weezer-esque production, Rosenstock talks about a lot of bummer shit. Suicide, losing contact with your loved-ones, growing up how all that really entails is having to pay bills, memories of being bullied and shoved away by who you looked to, irritating your best friends with your fuck ups.
But Rosenstock never makes it feel like a bummerfest because hey that’s summer. man. Summer’s not three whole months of laziness and fun, it’s got its shit moments and Rosenstock not only acknowledges it but fights through it. Everybody That You Love is about having fun while trying to be a less shitty dude, in Hurricane Waves Rosenstock is determined to have fun on the beach despite his depression and sickness, and amongst the surf-guitar laden tracks, the quiet-then-bombastic track The Shit That You Hate is a loud, sloppy, and poignant “FUCK YOU” to negativity and cynicism.
Of course all this would be for nothing if Jeff Rosenstock didn’t have his way with words, and Vacation has some of the best lyricism in the BtMI discography. Using sloppy vocals as a metaphor for losing your touch in things you’re supposed to good at (Vocal Coach) is absolutely brilliant, Why, Oh Why, Oh Why (Oh Oh Oh Oh) perfectly paints the shit from all your high school friends leaving you behind coming back to hurt you years later, and it can’t be properly described how well Rosenstock’s story in the opener Campaign For A Better Next Weekend defines summer.
The last track, Felt Just Like Vacation, deserves special mention because there could’ve been no better way to finish this album. It validates the album, really because it’s a song about how it’s all worth it. The depression and loneliness and pain is all worth it because your friends are there to love you and get you through it all. November-April is a slogfest to wade through because those four fucking months make the whole shitty year worth it. Because summer’s not just about the fun. It’s about the long talks into the morning with your friends, it’s about picking each other up when we get knocked down. And it’s all to keep me and them and us alive. Those last words “So the winter never kills me.” makes me tear every single time. It’s become my war cry, my call to get through the rest of this year between all the depression and burned bridges.
Because summer’s just around the corner...
Grade: A+ Buyitbuyitbuyitbuyit