Surf Rock Music Because It Rocks

The Brigantines: Vacation!

The Brigantines: Vacation! CD notes: Surf Rock Music Reviews by Justin Hayes
Review by: Justin Hayes

Vacation! is a combination vocal and instrumental album. I'm not going to waste any time before I say that Vacation! is a monumental cut above the rest of the vocally infused albums I've heard in many moons. There, I went straight to the point and this album deserves no less.

What makes Vacation! so different and so cool is that the lyrics are fun, interesting, and tell captivating stories in two and three-minute musical chapters. There are no rhymes just for the sake of rhyming. No endless droning. What you get are great lyrics backed by stellar music. Vacation! is a real deal, first-class, all Side-A album.

The Brigantines are from Red Bank, New Jersey and describe themselves as a 'Surf-Pop' band. As they put it, "...think The Beach Boys and The Ventures meets Chris Isaak and The Kinks." There is one thing they failed to mention, though ... they are outstanding.

The Brigantines are:
Vincent Minervino - vocals, guitar, drums, keyboard, percussion
Aaron Leonovich - bass, guitar, percussion, vocals
Scott Saint Hilaire - guitar, vibe
Dan Tojeira - drums, percussion

Vacation! has 12 super high-quality vocal and kick-ass instro tracks to keep things entertaining from start to finish. Hang on, 'cause here is some really cool stuff...

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Vacation! - "Let's take a vacation! Go somewhere new. I wanna take a vacation, darlin' with you." He wants to see her smile and he knows a good time in the sunshine will put their cares behind them. You know, it seems as though these days everyone has too much to do and too little time to do it. It's reached the point we need vacations to have time together and remember what it means to be in love. Vacation! will help you remember. Beautiful music and excellent vocals.

Ray-Bans - Oh, oh. He got high and lost his Ray-Bans. He needs the lifeguard's help because he has bloodshot eyes. From The Ramones to Roy Orbison, and now The Brigantines, Ray-Bans have epitomized the culture of cool. Ray-Bans is a mega-fun song with great backing music.

Brigantine Barrel - Terrific playing by everyone highlights this extremely cool instrumental surf tune. I like the way the bass lines add extra punch. Reverb, tremolo, glissandos, and a strong surf beat kick Brigantine Barrel into overdrive.

Take You Home - Some guy claims that he's looking for a no-commitment encounter with a girl in a sexy dress. As he puts it, "Make no mistake, I'm not in love with you" ... in other words, he's a hormone-laden guy who is at least honest about being a hormone-laden guy. I think The Brigantines were making a point with Take You Home and scored a bullseye. Powerful music with potent bass work. Wild, kick-ass instro chorus. Cool tune.

Verity - Verity is a girl from England. He wants her to stay because he can't forget her. He offers to take her to Asbury or Waikiki where they could be happy. Verity, the word, means a state or quality of being true; accordance with fact or reality. I think that may be why he calls this girl Verity, because she is his true love. Very, very pretty song with great vocals

Lose Myself - He hasn't felt the freedom of losing himself in the moment for a long time. He remembers what it feels like, though, and he wants to lose himself with her ... tonight. Neat drum syncopation, beautiful guitars and, once again, great vocals.

Next Summer - "We met on a Thursday. It was the first day of the holiday." Next Summer is an ode to the summer love we all experience when we're young and still have stars in our eyes and passion in our hearts. Next Summer questions if the love is real enough to survive an absence. Compelling song for young lovers everywhere.

Reeferone - Instro surf the way we love it. Fast and powerful with oceans of reverb and waves of tremolo. Reeferone is punctuated by a very cool drum solo and a very potent guitar attack. A great tribute to old-school surf.

Sunset Motel - The neon sign beckoned him from the road. He stopped. He met a girl at the bar. He claimed she was no Verity, but he just couldn't sleep alone. He was feeling sorry for himself so he left with her. The next morning he woke up to find out she'd taken his heart, wallet, guitar, and Ray-Bans. Hmmm, payback? He'd been through this all before ... he knew it all too well. The music in Sunset Motel has a strong driving hot rod force to it. The vocals are superb.

Change Your Mind - She broke up with him on the phone, but he tells her it isn't too late to change her mind. He was always on vacation so he knows it's his fault. After she's gone, he realizes the sun doesn't shine when she isn't around. Beautiful guitar chorus followed by awesome vocals, reminiscent of Gary Puckett. The orchestral treatment is excellent.

Then She Kissed Me - Remake of the The Crystals' 1963 hit, Then He Kissed Me, this one is done with the feel of a live performance which brings a nice presence to the song. Great rendition with a big orchestral 'Wall of Sound' behind the stellar vocals.

Vacation! (Instrumental Version) - Beautiful lead guitar on the melody line makes the instro version of Vacation! sing. I need to mention the drums ... outstanding single and double stroke rolls. Terrific instro.

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Vacation! isn't just a good album, it's a great one. Great compositions, great musicianship, and great vocals make Vacation! one of King Neptunes treasures.

The Brigantines: Vacation! (Modern World Records)
01)??Vacation! Minervino, Leonovich, Saint Hilaire, Tojeira 2:49
02)??Ray-Bans Minervino, Leonovich, Saint Hilaire 2:33
03)??Brigantine Barrel Minervino, Leonovich, Saint Hilaire, Tojeira 3:09
04)??Take You Home Minervino 2:45
05)??Verity Minervino, Leonovich, Saint Hilaire 2:26
06)??Lose Myself Minervino 2:00
07)??Next Summer Minervino 2:51
08)??Reeferone Minervino, Leonovich, Saint Hilaire, Tojeira 2:17
09)??Sunset Motel Minervino, Leonovich, Saint Hilaire, Tojeira 3:21
10)??Change Your Mind Minervino 2:51
11)??Then She Kissed Me Spector, Greenwich, Barry 2:42
12)??Vacation! (Instrumental Version) Minervino, Leonovich, Saint Hilaire, Tojeira 2:49

Produced by The Brigantines
Engineered & Mixed by Vincent Minervino
Mastered by Bill Henderson at Azimuth Mastering

Photography by Michael Garbutt & Ann Coen
Design & Layout by Vincent Minervino

The Brigantines

Review by: Justin Hayes

? Justin Hayes 2012
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