EXHUMED: The Normals Vacation To Nowhere LP

by Rawce
posted Friday Apr 8th, 2011

New Orleans’ punk premiers The Normals have long been considered staples of the KBD stew, with their first and last single “Almost Ready” b/w “Hardcore” being one of the finest examples of both melodic and manic late 1970’s bashing. As a compliment to their reissue of that timeless 7”, the freaks at Last Laugh Records have dug up what may qualify as one of the primo “lost albums” of the original American punk rock cream-dream, Vacation To Nowhere. And while this isn’t the first time that enlightened members of the public have been given a chance to hear some of the 12 throttling tracks contained on this album (Airline 61 released the retrospective CD Your Punk Heritage in the late 1990’s), this is the first time that these recordings have been released as a complete album.

Each song on Vacation... stands as a perfect example of 70’s power pop craft coarsely blended with spasmodic intensity – late 70’s punk polenta. Even with the oddly out of place sentimentality expressed on “Memories”, the band never veers off course. Songs like “Sometimes The Truth”, “What Do You Think Of The U.S.A.?”, and the titular “Vacation To Nowhere”, are (at this point) theoretical classics – I imagine Teengenerate would have covered at least half of this album, had they heard it in 1993. These songs are so good in fact, that they seem familiar and inviting, like something that one returns to rather than discovers for the first time.

It’s truly a crime that The Normals got fate-fucked and Vacation To Nowhere wallowed in limbo for so long. But, c’est la vive as they say in the Big Sleazy, and although these tracks will again be offered on CD (this time, with additional DVD footage of a complete 1980 set), I suggest picking up the vinyl before it’s gone. 1,000 copies, or some tacky shit like that. Hop to it, motherfucker.

Grab a copy of the Normals' Vacation To Nowhere right HERE

and check out a rare live clip of the band performing live in 1980, at The New Place in Metairie, LA, courtesy of Jason Craft: