Is No Vacation’s Cover Of The Cranberries Debut Album Any Good?

While sharpening your axe as an artist or a content creator, several factors are mixed up in the process. Learning and practising, without a doubt, is an integral part of creation. At the same time, the art of listening also plays an important role in expanding the musical aptitude of an artist. Without a doubt, No Vacation is highly influenced by the Irish rock band The Cranberries, which is eminent from their cover of the Irish band’s debut studio album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

Written by the late Dolores O’Riordan and guitarist Noel Hogan, it was through this album that the band rose to popularity in the commercial music scene of the 90s. Also to mention, being one of the few bands to inspire them to kickstart their musical journey, there are no ifs and buts about the members of No Vacation having a special place in their hearts for them.

Acknowledged for their surf-rock/pop sound, the band formed in 2015 in San Francisco, California, are currently active in the New York music scene. The current members of  No Vacation are Sabrina Mai, Marisa Saunders, Nat Lee, Rob Mills, and Harrison Spencer.  

Let’s delve into No Vacation’s cover of the well-known album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

No Vacation’s Musical Take On Cranberries

The first track ‘Still do’ not only gives a foretaste for the spacious feel on the entire album but also captures the atmosphere of the original one. The difference to note is that the original track uses a lot less reverb and the instruments have a more natural feel to them. For some who are not accustomed to the reverb-heavy guitars and vocals, the overall mix might not be easy on the ears. Unlike Dolores’ bright singing style, Sabrina’s vocal tone is quieter and appears to be a closely miked recording.

All covers of No Vacation from Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We ? ( Source: YouTube )

This is even more audible in Sunday song. Unlike Dolores’ vocals which sound more forward on the mix, the use of what appears to be a plate reverb on Sabrina’s vocal has a distinct feel to it. This kind of mix suits well with her intimate singing style. Apart from that, there are certain choice differences regarding the use of other instruments on the album.

For instance, the New York band uses synth-like sounds instead of typical strings in the song for the same melody phrases. Even then, each instrument has its timbre and contributes to the song in its way. As for my taste, I lean more towards the warm opened up strings and vocals used in the original recording of the track.

Setting both the recordings side by side, the atmosphere around the songs and the arrangements sound similar overall, conveying the impression of a straightforward cover. Contrariwise, the band has also put on show their renditions for some of the songs. Take for example the song Waltzing Back, which plays on a lower key with plentiful ambience coming from reverb, giving the song a nonchalant feel as opposed to the original rock version.

No Vacation performing Waltzing Back at Diamond City Studio, Brooklyn ( Source: YouTube )

To tell the truth, it’s quite nice to have the cover version as well, considering you can always go back to it if you’re in a different mood.  The same thing can be said for Wanted, the cover of which is more laid back in tempo, accompanied by relaxing synths.  

Of all the songs on the album, No Vacation’s cover of Linger stands out the most. With Sabrina’s soulful singing and befitting choice of instruments that sit well with each other, the song has a very balanced tone and sounds almost as elegant as the original one. Despite the arrangement being kind of similar, the fervent performance is what stacks up against other countless covers of the song. 

Regardless of my preference for the production of The Cranberries’ version, it also comes down to personal taste. As opposed to my fondness for more natural-sounding vocals and instruments, a multitude of music listeners loves chilled out spacey songs. After all, it’s the band’s sweet gesture to pay respect to musicians that they had the utmost admiration for.

In Case You Haven’t Heard No Vacation..

We highly recommend you start out by listening to their songs Yam Yam and Mind Fields. Also, you can support this Cali based group by purchasing their albums through Bandcamp or via their official site.

No Vacation also have three shows lined up for November 2021 if fans are interested to see them perform live. However, their tour dates for 2022 is yet to be announced.

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Sandesh K.C
A musician in the making specializing in songwriting and musical composition. Recent Engineering graduate and music writer trying best to keep the spark for my passion alive.
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