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Strange Vacation - Chasm Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7
Production 7.75
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 78%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.42
Musicianship 9.33
Lyrics 8.92
Production 9.08
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 9.33
Reviewer Tilt 9.58
Average: 93%
Inside AP.net

Strange Vacation - Chasm

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (01/10/12)
Strange VacationChasm
Record Label: Authentik Artists
Release Date: January 17, 2012


Well here we are. Is this the start of a new journey or just the continuation of the dreaded same old-same old? Let’s reconvene in 7 or so months. Stay tuned! In terms of Strange Vacation, who apparently used to be called The Boys Of Summer (this is one of those rare occasions where a name change is actually a good thing), calling anything revolutionary would be kind of silly. I’m sure Jon-Paul Bakaric and the boys would agree, at least partially. I mean, if you enjoyed the former iteration of this band, Chasm will certainly smack your sweet spot. Their forefathers are still The Dangerous Summer and That Was Something (of which there are former members), but as Strange Vacation, the tunes have been intellectualized just a smidge. Just enough to make songs called “Lonely” or “I Left My Heart” listenable and not bland pieces of tattooed white boy crap.

With nearly equal parts bro camaraderie (the alt-rock of “Round and Round”) and bro baby-ism (the male-female slow-burner “Impression”), Chasm is extremely agile within its pop-punk constraints. It’s one of those records that could very easily have been forgotten the instant you move on. However, and as a credit to both the roomy production and The Graduate-esque guitar tones, Strange Vacation have formed a fairly nice statement on the growth dudes are capable of when they trade in their New Found Glory records. (Or whatever.) Sure, there are tricks here (piano bridges with hot lady singers, snare drum solos, vocals produced to sound like they are sung across the grand canyon), but you don’t really pay attention to that stuff by itself unless you are, probably, me. I mean, it’s not my place to question the why’s of anything, especially not on a record like Chasm, where the answer to that question is so obviously, “This felt like the right way to do it.”

I guess my cynicism or skepticism or whatever is such a moot point, that I almost feel the need to get it out so that I will stop fixating on it. Do I think “War in the Dark” sounds exactly like a Dangerous Summer song because these guys are friends with Cody Payne? No, absolutely not. Do I think it sounds like Dangerous Summer because that’s what these guys like and that’s what a lot of people also happen to like? Sure. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, because there obviously isn’t. If anything, I should be stoked. More bands are figuring out that we don’t really need them to spoon feed head-boppy melodies that are thin with emotion and thick with sheen. Which, hey, there’s still gloss here, but it’s balanced with gritty vocals on songs like “Tonight” or the distorted guitar graceland that is “I Gave Out.” So every moment Chasm starts to feel a little, well, calculated, there is a dose of humanity serving to remind us that just because someone made a song that makes you think and makes you happy, it doesn’t mean there’s some weird cash-grab ulterior motive. This is clearly my bullshit to work through, but for the time being let’s just say that Chasm has no trouble achieving its transparently heartfelt goals. If only we could all be so lucky.


Recommended If You Like: The Dangerous Summer, The Boys of Summer, That Was Something, The Graduate


Slowly Onwww.lifeisastrangevacation.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 25
01:27 AM on 01/11/12
#2
XLT917
We're never dead unless we give up.
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Awesome review Blake. Quite excited to give this a listen. What It's All About was/is so good. I'm excited to see where these boys have grown and I'm sure it's more than a name change.
07:36 AM on 01/11/12
#3
BusterBluth
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That Was Something, didn't expect them to pop up on AP.net
07:44 AM on 01/11/12
#4
Prae Omnia
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This review makes me really wanna check this out.
09:55 AM on 01/11/12
#5
MJSchmidt
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Really excited to hear the real thing! The demos that leaked were really great. I will definitely be purchasing this and hopefully see them live at some point.
10:30 AM on 01/11/12
#6
gr33ndayfr3ak
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I wasn't really huge on Boys of Summer, but I heard "Just Sing" a while back and it blew me away. Hoping for more of that type of progression. And if this review s any indication, I won't be disappointed.
11:20 AM on 01/11/12
#7
Blake Solomon
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I wasn't really huge on Boys of Summer, but I heard "Just Sing" a while back and it blew me away. Hoping for more of that type of progression. And if this review s any indication, I won't be disappointed.
im not sure if it's out, but give "lonely" a try. It's so good.
12:21 PM on 01/11/12
#8
gr33ndayfr3ak
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im not sure if it's out, but give "lonely" a try. It's so good.
Listening to all the demos right now, and they're all fantastic. Definitely getting a poppier TDS vibe from them.
Is there a tracklisting for the official release?
01:10 PM on 01/11/12
#9
Blake Solomon
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Listening to all the demos right now, and they're all fantastic. Definitely getting a poppier TDS vibe from them.
Is there a tracklisting for the official release?
Chasm
Just Sing
Invention
Round and Round
Tonight
War in the Dark
Lonely
I Left My Heart
I Gave Out
Impression
01:17 PM on 01/11/12
XLT917
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Clips on amazon. Sounding fantastic.
01:24 PM on 01/11/12
jaredohgren
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not sure if this is a positive review or not......
I personally love record and the only song I really skip is Just Sing, weak single choice imo. Glad these guys changed their name though.
02:04 PM on 01/11/12
xName Takenx
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I am probably the biggest Strange Vacation/Boys of Summer fan out there, and I'd say What It's All About is catchier, but the musicianship and progressiveness on Chasm is unmatched.

So glad they stuck with the dual vocals (throughout both bands) and Mark hammers out some SICK bass lines (most notably on Just Sing and Chasm- the song)

I hope this band explodes... Just so damn good it's a shame they haven't already
02:17 PM on 01/11/12
punkbob
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Thanks for the support everyone, these guys worked really hard on the record and anyone who has a few bucks (or a Spotify account) should pick it up next Tuesday. It's being released by my company Authentik Artists, check out their label profile and band profile on Facebook. Keep up the support for emerging artists. - Bob

Facebook.com/StrangeVacation
http://www.authentikartists.com/strange-vacation/
08:04 AM on 01/12/12
xName Takenx
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Thanks for the support everyone, these guys worked really hard on the record and anyone who has a few bucks (or a Spotify account) should pick it up next Tuesday. It's being released by my company Authentik Artists, check out their label profile and band profile on Facebook. Keep up the support for emerging artists. - Bob

Facebook.com/StrangeVacation
http://www.authentikartists.com/strange-vacation/

Thank you for getting behind them! I'm anxious to buy it next week! Any word on the vinyl pre-order? Is this something that will be released through you guys as well, or is the band doing that on their own?
08:36 AM on 01/12/12
brothemighty
Blue moon, where are you today?
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So pumped for this. Loved the demos. Beyond stoked.
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