Premiere: Grab a Free Download of Bummer Vacation's Debut Single.
Yesterday, as part of our look into the most anticipated albums still set to come out of this region in the remaining months of 2014, we gave you a primer on the soon-to-be-released debut LP from Fort Worth upstarts Bummer Vacation.
Now, granted: The band's only played a handful of live shows to date. But its members share a long pedigree of performing: Vocalist/guitarist Paul Hernandez played bass with Sealion, vocalist/guitarist Ryan Torres-Reyes plied his craft with Skeleton Coast and the rhythm section, comprised of drummer Ricky Williford and Tyler Moore splits its time performing with War Party. So the talent's there. And, in the coming weeks, these talents will combine to release one of the better debut LPs you'll hear all year.
Pointedly calling the thing Creative Differences, Hernandez says the album's title has as much to do with the bands he and Torres-Reyes aren't currently playing with as it does the end of some other relationships in their personal lives.
“To us, more than any sort of negative connotation, it's a way we felt when we started seeing what this turned into,” Hernandez says. “This band is unlike anything any of us have tried to do in the past — in every sense possible.”
That's true to an extent. Bummer Vacation's somewhat hard-to-pin-down sound bears some passing resemblance to Torres-Reyes' previous outfit, Skeleton Coast, in that it pair's together post-punk and glittery dream-pop in a moderately challenging but completely approachable manner. But the immaculately layered guitar work found on Bummer Vacation's debut eschews Skeleton Coast's neo-psychedelic leanings in favor of something more akin to The Smiths.
There's another similarity, though: Just as he produced Skeleton Coast's own stunning debut, area producer du jour Jordan “Son of Stan” Richardson produced Bummer Vacation's debut and helped the group really hone its sound in the studio.
“He was the perfect fit and partner for us,” Hernandez says. “Both he and I understood exactly where we wanted to see this thing go and to have him say ideas he had that were already in my head just reassured me that he was definitely the right person. His energy, attention to detail and overall positive vibe made it easy on us. We loved it and so did he, so shortly after we began discussing doing the whole album with him. This album would not sound the way it does without him. He definitely allowed us to fully understand what we could do with this band in the studio. It was great energy and I feel like it carried over into the recordings. I can definitely say he is someone we will continue to work with in the future; he is an extension of what we have become.”
Speaking of the band's future: Bummer Vacation will play a pair of digital album release shows for Creative Differences next weekend, with the first show coming Friday, July 18 at Three Links and the second going down on Saturday, July 19 at Lola's, where the band will open for Zorch. Physical copies, Hernandez says, will be available later this fall in the form of cassettes released by Fort Worth's Lo-Life Records, with vinyl versions coming on Richardson's own WIZARDVIZION imprint.
For now, though, you can get an exclusive first taste of Creative Differences in the form of the album's first single, “Bummer Condo,” which the band has been kind enough to pass along as a free download to Central Track readers below.
It's a juicy first taste of an album full of tracks that are just as fit for pulling out some spastic, New Wave dance moves as it is for just vibing out to the array of effects pedals.
“We definitely found a great balance as far as having two guitars in a band,” Hernandez says. “When we all started to get together, it instantly worked and felt natural. These guys are my brothers that I trust and want to be in a band with. [I don't have to say], 'Play this the way I wrote it because it's my song and my band.' We don't have time for that or want that vibe.”