“Rock’n’roll is a prostitute,” says Jonathan Rhys-Meyers’ character in Velvet Goldmine, Todd Haynes’ filmic ode to glam rock. She sure is when she’s done well, as she is by Hollywood band The Vacation.
If Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, and Guns ‘n’ Roses had a threesome and managed to spawn, it might sound like this trio (at press time, they still don’t have a permanent drummer). Twin brothers Steve and Ben Tegel crawled out of an L.A. gutter and dragged bassist “Dutch” Suoninen offstage with them from an open mic night and pulled together an album full of sex and dirt that hits you like a hard, sweaty fuck in a Sunset Strip bar bathroom, up against the wall, spilled beer and cigarettes underfoot.
If that language offends you, then you probably won’t like this band, so quit now. If that sentence made you smile, dive right in. “White Noise” opens the mess up with swagger and pomp, and though they talk about playing with a sense of humor, if you’re into overanalyzing lyrics, there’s plenty of material there. The song “Spiders” begs to have a tattooed stripper crawling on her knees to its stanky bass, and “Destitute Prostitutes” is nearly as perfect a portrait of gutter glamour as Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “My Michelle.” If the album has a flaw, it’s in the session drumming, bland and emotionless.
If the recent Velvet Revolver record left you with a deepsoul ache for rock music to make your panties wet, or you’re bored to tears with toothless, juvenile radio punk, pick up Band from World War Zero and some tight, ripped jeans, and practice your best Billy Idol sneer in the mirror. And then smile, because the Vacation get it–music is not about who’s cooler than who, but about who’s having the best time.