The first full-length from Indiana’s Vacation Club, Heaven Is Too High, took a couple listens to really work its way into rotation. Samuel James‘ vocals are an acquired taste — they’re high, they’re snotty, and they’re fairly monotonic.
It took picking the LP up after a little time away from it, putting it on the turntable, and hearing the opening strains of “Gas Station” to get what Vacation Club’s doing — this is a trimmed-down, lo-fi version of something like the Sweet or Slade.
The stomp’s all there, along with the bubblegum catchiness. It’s 100% pop, despite the echoing vocals and pretty basic song structures. “Hound” will instantly remind you of something like the Dave Clark Five’s “Anyway You Want It,” and much like that stomping bit of circular pop joy, you’ll want to get the hell up out of your seat and dance.
This is sugary-sweet, like Vacation Club distilled oldies radio into a syrup you pour directly into your ears. It’ll go straight from your ears to your brain to your hands and feet. Dancing will happen, your teeth will rot, and your cavity-riddled mouth will be fixed with shiny metal fillings.
That metal will, in turn, start picking up radio stations. Radio stations that only play the Association, the 1910 Fruitgum Company, and on and on and on … until your brain will accept only the finest sugary choruses.
At that point, you’ll be hit with “Boiled,” your face will melt in the face of its psychedelic madness, and you won’t know what to expect.
Vacation Club’s Heaven Is Too High is out now from Magnetic South Recordings, and comes in a pressing of 500 LPs on black vinyl. You should really go buy a copy. The cut-and-paste, Xeroxed aesthetic of the cover extends to the back, the insert, and even the LP labels. It’s a cool-looking package.