The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper

Arts and Entertainment

Review: Not So Basic Vacation

By: Katie Sun



Basic Vacation’s self-titled EP, Basic Vacation, is a feast for the alternative pop-rock soul, providing a sound that is refreshingly easy to listen to. The album consists of five tracks with the band’s characteristic lighthearted atmosphere and chanting in the chorus, each telling a unique story.

Basic Vacation is an under the radar band that formed from three friends who bonded over a similar taste in music and a love for classic rock. The trio got off to a rough start, but was later discovered by Grammy Award-winning producer David Kahne. The dynamic chemistry between the band’s three members, vocalist-guitarist Chris Greatti, bassist Jon Paul, and drummer Mike Montalbano is undeniable.

The album kicks off with “I Believe”, a love ballad with an uplifting chorus, talking about not giving up on a relationship even when the odds are stacked against one. The song is easily an anthemic piece, using empowering lyrics to lull the audience into a sense of invincibility. On a parallel, it describes the band’s unwavering faith in what they had regardless of what anybody else did, or rather because they believed in themselves and that was enough.

The next song, “Jaime,” balances out the first with less of an upbeat tone, utilizing the thriving beat of the synth alongside a guitar and echoing harmonies to bring out their modern roots. Although it strays from their relentlessly up-tempo style, their lyrics do not resonate quite as powerfully as “I Believe.” The album continues with “It’s All Happening,” revealing the band’s high hopes and excitement for their future, considering their new arrival to the music industry. Power chords provide electricity and liveliness in “You’re in My Head”. Last in the lineup is “Worlds Collide,” a vibrant ending peppered with guitar riffs and bass.

The entire album resonates with a theme of hope and all-prevailing faith. Each track tells a story about the journey in figuring oneself out and making it against the odds. For those looking for meaningful lyrics or an alternative, new sound, Basic Vacation is a delicious teaser for the genre, and an easy way to discover something different from the mainstream.

Basic Vacation’s enthusiasm to release their first EP and their fresh optimism is displayed throughout the album. They display different styles of music, demonstrating how new they are to the business, and that they are still searching for exactly who they are as a band. Nonetheless, Basic Vacation shows a lot of potential. Their unique, indie style separates them from many of today’s popular artists while still appealing to the growing audiences of alternative and pop rock. Embracing a distinctive sound, Basic Vacation’s first album is an undoubted triumph.


Rating: A-



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