When in Rome Do as the Vandals is the debut album by the Huntington Beach punk rock band The Vandals, released in 1984 by National Trust Records. It was the band's first full-length LP. Its title is a play on the phrase "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," as the Vandals was also the name of a Germanic tribe which had invaded the Roman Empire and helped lead to its destruction. The album's cover played on this theme by showing the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a state of destruction. It was the band's last recording with vocalist Stevo, who left the band shortly after due to personality conflicts with some of the other members.
On the original LP release Brent Turner is credited as having performed all of the bass tracks, but by the time of its release Chalmer Lumary had joined the band on the bass position. Chalmer's name and photo are therefore included on the album sleeve along with those of the other members. The album sleeve also lists the seventh track as being "It's Not Unusual," a cover of a song by Burt Bacharach. The label on the LP itself, however, correctly lists this track as being a cover of "Hocus Pocus" by the band Focus. The sleeve also lists the album's sixth track as being spelled "Viking Suite," although the label again corrects this error by spelling it "Viking Suit" (as it is pronounced in the song's lyrics).
The album was re-released in 1989 in CD format along with the band's debut EP Peace Thru Vandalism as Peace Thru Vandalism/When in Rome Do as the Vandals. The CD version was released by Restless Records (later reissued by Time Bomb Recordings) and correctly lists the song titles as described above.
This song tells the story of a fan who, after hearing the Vandals song "Urban Struggle" on the radio, asks them to play at his birthday party. The Vandals arrive with a gang of friends and fans who proceed to destroy the house.
The song deals with a character named Johnny Sako who calls upon a robot to help him fight against the government, since it has become oppressive and is spying on its own citizens.
"Mohawk Town" parodies the animosity that existed between skinheads and punks in the Los Angeles and Orange County punk scenes of the early 1980s by describing an old western showdown between the outlaw Mohawk John and law enforcer Marshal Skin.
This song deals with domestic abuse in a sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek manner.
This song describes the band's Airstream travel trailer, used for touring, and their experiences on the road.
A somewhat sarcastic ballad to the band's home of Los Angeles.