Bomb the Music Industry – Vacation

Bomb the Music Industry
Quote/Unquote Records (donation based download)

I’m feeling very uninspired today. I feel like the first 2/3 of summer were packed with stuff and now, as I slump into the last few weeks before I start school again, I can’t seem to get the party up. I have all this time again and no motivation or inspiration to do any writing on my book or draw anything or make music. All these people want me to create with them and I just don’t feel like it. It totally sucks.

In the mist of this blah blah blah attitude news came to me of a new Bomb the Music Industry full length. My favorite, hyperactive pop punk band that always brought the ska influence and big radio sounds to the DIY scene. Jeff Rosenstock has always been able to get me going. So at midnight on the 26th of July I hit up his Quote/Unquote download label and rocked myself a copy of his latest album Vacation which, by title alone, had all the makings of an awesome end of summer rocker.

And so, here I am, with this new album, by one of my favorite bands from one of my favorite punk scenes and I’m feeling like this album. It’s a summer jams record for those that find us in the doldrums of the summer. Gone are the hyperactive punk spouting and instead we have something more akin to what the mighty Ted Leo might give us. Not that Rosenstock is copying Leo in any way shape or form, but growing up is going well for the Long Island and he’s doing it with grace.

Vacation is a different album for Bomb the Music Industry. It’s still full of gang vocals and awesome, crowded guitars. It’s still totally got a million things going on, but it’s got more of a songwriters feel to it, like Rosenstock actually started listening to his own music and making decisions about how he wanted his music to sound. Bomb the Music Industry, for as fun and hectic as they always sounded, often felt like they were the product of a kid in need of a Ritalin fix. And though it doesn’t seem that this is the case at this juncture, Bomb the Music Industry sounds more focused than ever.

But don’t think you won’t be overloaded. All the fun little bits of sound that make short appearances are there. Rosenstock has always tossed in a keyboard or a horn interlude in his songs, and though he’s much more pop-rock then punk rock on Vacation, he hasn’t pulled away from the devil-may-care record making that he’s become known for. The album is upbeat, bouncy and full of hooks, more than ever before. The tempo even changes, though it’s still frantic and energetic.

Still, in all the jam-packed songs, sounds exploding in celebration, Rosenstock’s slight tone of melancholy still seeps into the songs. With a less furious presentation this makes the darker highlights a little more thick. The cover even suggests an end of summer, last sunset falling over sea, a lone man watching as the fun fades out and responsibility and the grind of winter and fall are in reminder.

Vacation is a grower and not a shower for sure. And honestly, until I sat down and wrote this while listening to the album for like the tenth time this week, I wasn’t even sure I liked it. It’s a sneak attack, something Bomb the Music Industry is really known for. But having said that, it’s also possible that this is the album that really grabs a greater public’s attention. BtMI has been all the rage to fun-loving, young, DIY punk kids, their live shows and love growing over the years. But if ever there was a record that got the college kids and MTV watching youth brigade’s attention it would be Vacation. Makes me happy to know I live in Albuquerque now, that show will probably be small and intense. Bomb the Music Industry should be set for a bigger stage and they are gonna bring the fun and ruckus back to rock music.