Belt of Vapor 


The sound of Spokane's Belt of Vapor is as relentless as a caged wolverine gnawing on a dried-up old hog's ear. With nary a musical introduction, bassist and vocalist Aaron Powell opens the 7-inch record Buck with a wail that is less a shriek and more a call to duty. It's the kind of voice that a sea captain would use to order his sailors to stand fast during a fusillade from the Spanish Armada. The band is heavy and metallic without exactly being heavy metal. The music drives and grinds through repetitive riffage that spins and spins until one is coaxed into nodding in agreement. Of course, once you feel like you know the answer and you start to swing along, the power trio changes the question and lights into a foray of noise and crusty bass notes that are nearly as blissful as Michael Anthony's triplet at the end of Eddie's solo on Van Halen's "Everybody Wants Some." "Genius/Failure" is more off-kilter, with busy drumming and a man-sized bowl of noodling guitar riffs. The album softens but doesn't fade during the second half of the track, as if a sinking ship were singing its own elegy.

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