Vacation Takes off on ‘Candy Waves’

Plus, Formerly Ghosts debuts new single and MidPoint Music Fest updates

click to enlarge Vacation (Photo: Enabler PR)
Vacation (Photo: Enabler PR)

Local musicians Peyton Copes and Jerri Panic have had quite the summer already. One of their bands, Tweens (with Bridget Battle), is the most talked about Indie band in Cincinnati right now, with word spreading far and wide thanks to regular touring (including dates with fans, The Breeders) and a freshly-inked deal with Frenchkiss Records. 

Their other band is no afterthought side-project. With Vacation

(in which they are joined by Evan Wolff on bass), the musicians saw the release of their sophomore LP, Candy Waves , issued by New Jersey-based label Don Giovanni Records and garnering excellent reviews from the national press.

While Candy Waves was released in June, the trio is just now getting around to hosting a release show in their hometown. (Don’t be offended; they’ve been busy!) Vacation is bringing its summer tour with Potty Mouth to Over-the-Rhine’s MOTR Pub Monday for a free 10 p.m. show.

Highly melodic and almost equally noisy, Candy Waves is appropriately titled — the listener gets sucked in by the sweet catchiness, then swept away in the waves of distortion, feedback, lo-fi production and driving Punk rhythms. 

It’s hard not to make a Ramones comparison. Like that seminal New York City Punk crew, Vacation’s melodies are based on classic ’50s/’60s Pop. And, like Vacation, The Ramones took that melodic base and slathered it with the bristling energy of what would soon become contemporary Punk Rock. Candy Waves’ “Feedback Got Me High,” “Pyro Hippies” and the title track will have you bopping around like some ’50s teenager (and then maybe breaking some shit like a ’70s/’80s punk rocker).

Other times, Vacation harkens back to around that same era — when Punk was just finding its footing and there was not yet a rulebook — as well as the Post Punk era that started not long after. Tracks like “Straight to My Head” and “SFA” have strong melodies, but they’re less “sweet” and more dirty and snotty. If you found these tracks on an old Post Punk compilation from the early ’80s, Vacation’s presence wouldn’t even make you flinch.  

Candy Waves is classic Pop dragged through the basement. Bob Pollard would be proud. 

Check out Vacation’s music below and at

Formerly Ghosts Come Home, Release Single

Local trio Formerly Ghosts

will cap off a string of East Coast tour dates this Sunday with a 6 p.m. show at Northside club Mayday with Bear (the Ghost) and The Never Setting Suns .

The band — which has a truly unique sound and unpredictable songwriting instincts, mixing Orchestral Pop, Indie Rock, Post Rock and whatever else suits the song — has been touring to promote its forthcoming album, Dead in Ohio. 

A good example of the trio’s collaborative and creative openness can be heard in the freshly released single, “Predisposed.” The seven-and-a-half minute tune — featuring strings, percussion, piano and backing vocals provided by noted local guests — has electronic, Chamber music and orchestral elements, twinkling Indie Rock guitar flourishes and low-sung vocals that sound like a mix of Arcade Fire and Bauhaus, all spliced together and floated over hypnotic, impulsive structuring. 

Visit the music blog at to hear the full track or

MPMF Quick Hits

• One of the most fun elements of the MidPoint Music Festival

(coming Sept. 26-28 to various venues in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown) is the MidPoint Midway , with its carnival-like atmosphere, music offerings, food and other vendors. The “ Box Truck Carnival ” is the cornerstone of the Midway, showcasing the creative minds of Cincinnatians in the form of “box trucks” which are remade into anything from a movie theater to a skate park. Have an idea for a truck? ArtWorks and Springboard Cincinnati recently put the call out for proposals for the third annual Box Truck Carnival. Deadline for submissions is July 29. Visit for full details.

• The lineups for the Washington Park MPMF shows are taking shape and individual tickets for these shows “a la carte” are on sale now at (as are three-day passes for just $69). The Washington Park MPMF shows are all ages and individual show tickets range from $20-$25. Shuggie Otis

and Cody ChesnuTT head up the Sept. 26 Washington Park bill; Sept. 27’s will have The Head and the Heart and Youth Lagoon ; and Sept. 28 is when The Breeders will play their classic Last Splash album in full. The lineups will be fleshed out in the coming weeks. Stayed tuned to .

• The MidPoint Indie Summer

series continues this Friday on Fountain Square with another stellar (and free!) lineup of local acts. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. with Psych Rock crew The Tongue & Lips , while the great Brian Olive headlines at 10 p.m. (Olive is currently working on his next album, Free , slated for release in October.) In the 9 p.m. slot, strap yourself in for Man Halen , an incredibly entertaining all-star local Van Halen tribute group. ( )

Man Halen in action:

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected], @CityBeatMusic or on Facebook here.

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