Night Vapor play a tightly wound brand of noise rock on their December 14 Corpse Flower Records release 1,000 Miles of Mud. The band present music that feels like a teeming, visceral mass of sludge rocketing straight for the listener’s gut. The title fits the feel of the music itself perfectly — the feeling of making one’s way through the release could be compared to getting dragged through 1,000 miles of thick mud.
The band accomplish these grand ends through a number of means all tied together quite effectively. For one, Albert Hall’s vocal work feels like every note is getting pushed through a meat grinder, with an accessible guttural effectiveness that drags the music right down — in a good way. There’s a sense of control, but it doesn’t come without a price, as it’s clear that the speaker featured on the record holds back a formidable mass of intensity with every strained breath. This aspect imparts a grueling and ultimately almost sinister nature to the work.
Although the band freely traverse irreverent musical territory and feel like they’re solely pushing their own aims, they don’t become lost in their dismissal of the norm. In other words, there’s a lot more going on than just having a good time in between the end posts of 1,000 Miles of Mud, and the stylistic choices add some welcome sludgy substance.
The music the band members present feels perfectly lined up with the vocal style, which besides serving to further the artistic effectiveness, pushes the visceral feel of the record along. While the music is accessible in a broad sense — this isn’t grindcore or black metal or anything of the sort — there’s a near constant sense that Night Vapor are one step away from falling into utter chaos at any point. Every note gets strained through the same meat grinder the vocals get put through, laying down a rugged path that remains entirely the band’s own.
Without going too over the top, 1,000 Miles of Mud feels like a testament to just how dirty rock and heavy music in general can be. The band zero in on the filth and exhilaration packed between the cracks of our lives and force a thrilling artistic experience through the subsequent confrontation.
Listen below via Bandcamp