Friday, 16 September 2016
LORD VAPOUR ~ MILL STREET BLUES ... review
Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel that geographically is nearer to France than it is to its mother country England, is not a place you would readily associate with the heavy riff orientated music of the stoner/psych and doom scene but the fact is there are a lot of ass-kicking good grooves to be found on and around this little speck in the sea.
Guernsey stonernauts Lord Vapour started out life in 2014 as the side project of Brunt drummer Chris Mariess, the percussionist wanted to do something a little different from his usual gig so with the addition of two friends Henry Fears - guitar/backing vocals and Joe Le Long - bass/vocals Lord Vapour was born. The same year the trio released a self-titled EP "Lord Vapour" consisting of three songs of deliciously palatable psych drenched rock'n'roll salted with elements of desert grooviness and hard rock attitude. Two years later and with a string of live gigs under their respective belts the band returned to the studio to record "Mill Street Blues" their debut full length album.
"Mill Street Blues" is one of those albums you will never get tired of hearing, one of those albums that you will come back to time after time, hearing it fresh, as if it was your first listen all over again.
Songs like "Psychedelic Trousers", "Island Man" and "Crossroads" possess a classic quality that sticks in the mind long after the last note has faded into the distance. Brimming over with hazy lysergic grooves of musical excellence the albums nine songs burrow into the deep recesses of the memory and take up residence there, refusing to leave. Whether the band are ripping through a slow blues like "Bong Song" or going into full desert mode as on the very Kyuss-like "Knowledge Through Colour" Lord Vapour never deliver below 100%, Mariess pounds every inch of his kit to pulp in a dazzling display of percussive dexterity while Le Long's titanic bass lines boom and thrum like an earthquake, Fears meanwhile tears through this rhythmic tour de force with scintillating ease his guitar howling and wailing like a wounded animal one minute then crunching out fuzzed to the max heavy riffage the next. Over and around this seething wall of heavy psyched out madness Le Long, with occasional help from Fears, delivers strong clean vocals that although not possessing the finesse of a Plant or a Coverdale have a rough charm that sits perfectly within the dynamic of the music surrounding them, a dynamic that makes this album something to savour and keep returning to.
Check it out .....
"Mill Street Blues" is available at Bandcamp (digital and CD), a vinyl release (with a digital option) through No Slip Records and mastered by Mos Generator's Tony Reed will follow later in the year.