This time of year, vacation is on everyone’s minds. You know, a quick getaway to the beach, or at the very least, somewhere sunny. Of course, every summer requires its own distinct set of tunes; what’s an epic rooftop bash or the occasional drunken make-out sesh without a little memorable background noise? Obviously, Ohio trio Vacation know this already. They get it. Just their name alone screams summertime fling, so luckily, sophomore release Candy Waves is ripe with summer lovin’ from start to finish. Whether you’re headed near or far, get ready to meet your new summer soundtrack.
The best kinds of records– especially during summer– are the ones that don’t overstay their welcome. When it’s 85 degrees outside, who wants to get caught up in a lengthy guitar solo, or tangled in a web of complex electronic beats? Besides, there are far more pressing matters at hand. According to Vacation, these matters include the sun, good vibes, and a whole lot of other buzzy, distorted delights. The band keep things cool on Candy Waves, bobbing in-and-out of scorching punk melodies, surf pop rhythms and hooks as wide as the ocean itself. “Everyone Loves the Sun” is pure “Rockaway Beach” bound Ramones, bathed in the same bare, bouncing spirit of simplicity. Scuzzy “SFA” is fast, furious, and delivered with the attitude of a snarling punk grin. But while distortion and aggression both abound on Candy Waves, the album maintains a sunny disposition throughout; beach umbrella not included.
“Make a Mess” is, by far, the standout track of the album: Candy Waves’ euphoric high tide. You may find yourself wanting to coast along that delirious dream of a bass line for several miles, or several listens, at the very least. The new-wave-meet-surf-rock hybrid is one part retro beach party anthem, one part thrashing, thrilling head-banger, and all parts blazing and brilliant.
Noisy, screeching, charming, cluttered, and maybe just a little bit mad, Candy Waves never verges on saccharine or stale. Instead, it employs the simplest methods possible for creating music that moves you; music that grabs hold of you; music that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so you shouldn’t, either. During this time of year– or anytime, really– Vacation understand that this sort of music always goes down the sweetest.
3.5 / 5 bars