Having released a three track EP late last year the three-piece have since been publicly quiet, but clearly working on their live performance as well as writing new songs, so they launched into their debut set at full, pounding, force.
From the off it was clear what realm we were in with much long hair and dreadlocks nodding to the blues infused grooves while heads banged to the more speed metal driven parts and the two met in the middle through a psychedelic prism creating a bass driven sound that can only really be described as ‘heavy’ – in a particularly traditional way.
Being a familiar face on Guernsey’s metal scene for a few years Lord Vapour has given bassist Joe Le Long a chance to take a step forward and front the band and here he did this with aplomb.
Across the set he demonstrated a way of playing that stylistically evoked the likes of Geezer Butler and Cliff Burton (with whom he shared a certain loon panted fashion sense as well). Particularly impressive, and new, to this performance though were his vocals that hit the sweet spot between metal growl and bluesy soul.
The performance in general didn’t go as smoothly as the band might have liked with first a piece of drum hardware breaking and then several guitar issues, but all three members dealt with them as smoothly as possible.
Particularly impressive in this was guitarist Henry Fears not letting a broken string bother him as he played around it for a fairly lengthy instrumental song before taking a short break to replace it and carry on the set. This was then followed by fixing the jack input on his Telecaster mid song later in the set, though did get me thinking he maybe should have had a back up instrument.
Taking a break to replace a string might, in some situations, come off as a band being unprepared but in the format here it didn’t seem to be too much of an issue and it was swiftly sorted out before things continued.
Across the set there was a mixture of instrumentals and tracks with vocals and it was clear (by the band’s own admission) that some of this was more a combination of raw ideas, yet to be tempered, than finished songs, but it nonetheless had a coherent sound and style. Along with which it was the best sound I’ve yet heard in this particular venue – maybe it’s unintentionally custom designed for hard and heavy rock?
While it was rough around the edges in places and was clearly a band still finding their songs, Lord Vapour put on an impressive show and certainly presented a unified sound and style in their music, bringing something of their own to the heavier side of Guernsey’s music scene with which they should fit in well and I could see them becoming one of its highlights.
Here’s a flavour of what Lord Vapour do from their debut EP: