Raw Power Writings: Summer Vacation

On February 10, 2013 by Simon Weedn


Photo by Gabriel Gomez

Photo by Gabriel Gomez

It’s a well known fact here in Southern California that the best Chinese food can be found in the San Gabriel Valley (something my roommates and I discussed just the other night). What might not be so well known is that the San Gabriel Valley is also home to something equally rad – punk rockers Summer Vacation. I was only made aware of Summer Vacation’s awesomeness a year ago when, on a whim, I picked up their Recess Records debut, Condition, from the Recess online store.

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting but when my needle found it’s way into the grooves of the explosive first track, “I Know What You Want”, I immediately had my hair blown back. By the second track, I knew I was going to be a big fan of this quartet. Delivering some of the most rocking tunes I had the pleasure of hearing last year, Summer Vacation blends the unrestrained fun and wildness of your favorite good times pop punk bands with not-so-subtle nod to the textured grooves of mid- to late-nineties alternative rock. Sometimes the band pulls these style changes on a dime as is the case with their tune “Post-You”, which starts as a slower ballad before kicking into a raging, emotional blaster. Other tunes like “Wormhole-Blueprint” do the opposite, starting out unhinged and then migrating into more intense, beautiful, dreamy, territory. Lyrically, the band is completely honest and truthful. They sing about their lives and experiences and none of it sounds false or disingenuous, which make them all the more endearing.

At their best, Summer Vacation delivers powerful songs that hit you like a baseball bat to the chest. They’re the type of band I fantasize about seeing at some type of off-the-chain house party punctuated with flying streams of alcohol, sweaty frenzied dancing, and complete strangers making out along the walls trying not to knock each other’s teeth out as they are occasionally slammed by the surge of the crowd. Although not at the house party of my dreams, I did get to see Summer Vacation drop a hell of a set on the crowd over at Harold’s Place in San Pedro several months ago.

Musically, it was all I had hoped for. They played all the songs I wanted to hear and did so with passion and strength that didn’t disappoint. Still, I long to see these guys in front of a really enthusiastic audience. Heaters like “Vice City” deserve to be played to a crowd that goes as out of control as the song does, with full cans of beer spraying everywhere and lighter audience members taking to the air. If you’ve never heard Summer Vacation, get your hands on Condition. It’s so good I wish I could play it from start to finish over KROQ’s airwaves during rush hour just so the bulk of Southern California could hear what good rock and roll is supposed to sound like. And if you live over toward the Inland Empire, these dudes play out in Pomona all the time, so go see them immediately.

Find out more:


Summer Vacation Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Protected by WP Anti Spam