Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Night Vapor ponder music’s least-pondered questions: can noise-rock crudity and high-minded modern composition coexist in the same song? Can the results be made to “rock” – even “swing”? Can a multi-record career be eked out from that formula?
Lashed together according to those propositions, as deranged as they are focused, their upcoming release 1,000 Miles of Mud (via Corpse Flower Records) lays out a potent statement of vision. The band’s four members have done enough time in prog/noise-rock acts to know how to deliver the oft-damaged goods. Drummer John Roman and bassist Mike Rensland moonlight in Brown Angel, and Roman serves concurrently in Pittsburgh’s long-running Microwaves. This rhythm section is at Night Vapor’s core, slogging together as one oafish force. Their sludgy, shambolic vamps play foil to the down-tuned chugs, slashing tone clusters, and intricate lines unleashed by guitarist (and genuine Ph. D. composer) Aaron Myers-Brooks, who unravels strings of notes in atonal filigrees, or allows them to dangle and swoop over the din, precarious and dreamlike as Calder mobiles. Gravel-gargling vocalist Albert Hall’s lyrics are as sublime as Ionesco texts scrawled inside a rest-stop toilet stall, his guttural eructations evoking both Killdozer’s Michael Gerald and the Residents.
All too often, today’s noise rock rogues’ gallery forgets the “rock.” With equal attention to odd meters and shattering dissonance as well as honest-to-goodness hooks and grooves, Night Vapor loiters well away from both pack and mainstream. 1,000 Miles of Mud will be released on December 14th; watch for appearances in support of the album at select dates throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Listen to the track ‘Blue Mary’ here: