The Simpsons - Fo' Real
“The intermediate stage between socialism and capitalism is alcoholism.”
Despite the fact that lead singer Ben Tegel sounds just like Dead Kennedys front man Jello Biafra, The Vacation sound is closer to the thrusting exuberance of The Stooges and T Rex, both cited influences. Feisty opener "White Noise" is a case in point. It's full of cool hooks and yelling, and just screams 'look at me in my tight trousers!' And that's the best thing about The Vacation.
They have the kind of well-oiled animal magnetism that just doesn't exist in the glut of anaemic love-pap currently dominating mainstream UK music. Ironically the twins describe "White Noise" as a song about the impossibility of silence in today's media-saturated society.
It's this touching sincerity that makes their songs so adorable. Take "Destitute Prostitutes", the first single for release, which sounds like some violent cross breed of AC/DC and The Vines. It howls self confidence and is sure to recommend the Hollywood exports as stadium-size entertainers. According to guitarist Ben, the song is a well-meaning ballad about embracing outsider status.
Producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Supergrass, The Thrills) stayed on board with the band after his influence on their initial EP, 'They Were The Sons', helped win the hearts of UK festival goers. It means The Vacation have retained a gritty and urgent sound, check out the aural onslaught of "Make Up Your Mind". And it means they've adhered to the structural consistency that guarantees a good pop song, as in "Cherry Cola" and stand out track "Trash".
Having already garnered the admiration of fellow rockers Jet, The Vacation are proceeded by a reputation for libidinous live acts and technical accomplishment. Band From World War Zero will delight their fans, and hopefully win some new ones. Best played loud.
Blackfoot were contemporaries of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and tried for years to make it as a Southern rock band, although they finally succeeded as a hard rock outfit, in the manner of AC/DC and the Scorpions. They racked up a hit album (Strikes) and a pair of successful singles ("Train, Train," "Highway Song") in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before they became lost in the post-MTV era of visually oriented bands.
The group started out as a quartet: singer/guitarist Rickey Medlocke, the grandson of bluegrass musician Shorty Medlocke, who wrote "Train, Train"; drummer/singer Jakson Spires, bassist/singer Greg T. Walker, and lead guitarist Charlie Hargrett. They were signed to Island Records in 1975, evidently as that label's resident Southern rockers, but moved to Epic Records the following year. Neither relationship was successful, but in 1979, after moving to Atco, their first album for the new label, Strikes, hit a responsive chord -- the group spent the next few years on Atco, racking up impressive sales with the follow-ups Tomcattin' and Marauder.
Throughout his long and winding solo career, guitarist Robin Trower has had to endure countless comparisons to Jimi Hendrix, due to his uncanny ability to channel Hendrix's bluesy/psychedelic, Fender Strat-fueled playing style. Born on March 9, 1945, in Catford, England, Trower spent the early '60s playing guitar in various London based outfits; the most successful one being the R&B group the Paramounts, who specialized mostly in covers, but managed to issue several singles between 1963 and 1965. It wasn't until 1967 that Trower received his big break however, when he joined Procol Harum. The group had just scored a worldwide smash hit with "A Whiter Shade of Pale," but the only problem was that the band's leader, singer/pianist Gary Brooker, didn't have a proper band to back him. Brooker was previously a bandmate of Trower's in the Paramounts, and offered the guitar slot in his new fast-rising project to his old friend. As a result, Trower appeared on such Procol Harum classics as 1967's Procol Harum, 1968's Shine on Brightly, 1969's A Salty Dog, 1970's Home (which spawned the popular Trower tune "Whiskey Train"), and 1971's Broken Barricades.