Welcome to, Welcome to, Welcome to Welcome To Pittsburgh. Long time, no see. My fault, really. Computer died, brain is fried, et cetera, et cetera. No time for small talk, though, because today Pittsburgh, if there’s any justice left in this dusty speck of a universe, should be covered in the oily residue that is Night Vapor, a self-described avant-punk quartet whose debut full-length should soon be slivering around the underground in these parts. CLIMBER!

Sorry, after a few listens, you’ll see why I have a natural tendency, a tick, if you will, to do that from time to time now. CLIMBER! God save us. I’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO GO FAR IN THIS ORGANIZATION! Exhale, exhale. Okay …

If T-Tops is Pittsburgh’s answer to Melvins, then Night Vapor is surely its sour-faced, punch-to-the-gut response to Killdozer. That’s as close a goddamn summation as I can muster. The typical Night Vapor dirge, if you will, features bass like a leech sticking to the bottom of your feet and lurching, aggro/almost-arrhythmic time signatures. Sharp guitar razors jab here and there; they’re not chords, mind you, just trebly solo notes pricking your fingertips and your earlobes and your eyelids to draw blood. The drums thud and clank and clud. And vocalist Albert Hall, a perfect actor for the part, growls and groans like a man possessed. Live, he threatens the crowd physically, the frontman of a metal band cut loose. On disc, you wonder if you’re safe in your living room or your car. These cars mean goddamn business. Big Business. Post-punk style business. I love every minute of it.

The disc’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s a very disjointed and angular affair — I mean that in the most loving way possible — and if you like your music linear and with neat, safely drawn lines between your verses and choruses, hey, jerk off, stick with the Kenny Chesney, okay? Hear he’ll be back at Heinz in no time. But if you’re the adventurous type, these guys have your number. CLIMBER!!

Standout track: ”Climber,” the single, for obvious reasons that now have me seeking medication and professional counseling, and the perfect-for-T&G second track. Indeed.

Hey, yinzers. For serious. justinvellucci@gmail.com.

About the Author

Justin Vellucci

Justin Vellucci is a former staffer at Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines like American Songwriter and PopMatters, alt-weeklies such as Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper, and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish and Linoleum, and the Gannett publication Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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