Is there any band out there quite like Bomb the Music Industry? For years the ska-punk collective, led by the ever eccentric Jeff Rosenstock has been tearing up conventions one messy, chaotic song at a time. The group has been so frenetic, so disorganized, that it’s quite shocking to think that they’re easily one of the most consistent acts in music today. From their debut, Album Minus Band in 2005, to last year’s two EP’s, Bomb the Music Industry has astounded with each and every release. Well music lovers, BTMI! have done it again, as Vacation is not only one of their strongest releases thus far, but one of 2011’s defining records.
It’s sort of difficult to ascertain what makes Vacation such a joy to listen to. Mainly, however, it’s the plain and simple fact that Bomb the Music Industry are still the same unpredictable, loveable group of rag tags that erupted onto the scene those short years ago. Although somewhat more contained, the unbelievably palpable energy that’s defined the band is here, and is wonderful as always.
Leading said group is Jeff Rosenstock, the proclaimed genius behind the rather massive group. Vocally, he’s a pretty charismatic guy, crooning, hollering, and shouting with a smoky, raspy voice that just commands to be listened to. There’s enough vocal variation here to really impress any listener, and when paired with the quirky, likeable lyrics, this aspect of the album is a clear knockout. At times the whole thing seems rather personal, while other times it seems like he’s just messing around for the sake of messing around, and really, it makes for one hell of a good time.
The rest of the band just seems to be having one hell of a time as well, with guitars, percussion, strings, and brass all coalescing into one maddeningly frenetic mess—a glorious mess mind you. However, as stated earlier, Vacation is much more stripped down, felling more laidback then, for example, 2006’s Goodbye Cool World. Rest assured, the whole package sounds phenomenal, as the more lax nature just fits so damn well. The hooks still entice, the energy is still there, and everything still sounds pitch perfect. This is everything a Bomb the Music Industry! Album should be; a fun, catchy, and engaging album, worthy of being played to tethers.
Vacation, to put it plainly, has a bevy of killer tracks. Whether it be the quick and catchy “Everybody That You Love,” the languid and evocative “The Shit You Hate,” or the almost-so-perfect-it-should-be-illegal “Hurricane Waves,” there is something here for everyone, with each track being a standout. There are a couple of short interludes which stand out as peculiar, but are strange enough to add to the character and personality of the album. Aside from these moments, however, Vacation is just mind-bendingly consistent and excellent.
If one didn’t glean from this reviewer’s ridiculous praise, Vacation is absolutely fantastic. Truly, this is something that needs to be heard. Fans will obviously fall immediately in love, as they should, but Vacation is easily the most accessible album the band has put out, and shouldn’t be passed up by those unfamiliar with the group. It’s an album that keeps on giving; a piece of music that's more than a mere collection of songs, but rather, a wonderful work of creativity and energy from a band that simple cannot seem to put out a bad record.
01. Campaign For A Better Next Weekend
02. Vocal Coach
03. Everybody That You Love
04. Sponge Board Baby Waves
05. The Shit That You Hate
06. Hurricane Waves
07. Sick, Later
08. Why, Oh Why, Oh Why (Oh Oh Oh Oh)
10. Can’t Complain
11. Everyone That Loves You
12. Sunny Place Shady People
13. Felt Just Like Vacation