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Music Reviews

VAPORTRAIL/E.P. (Self-released)

Vaportrail is a San Francisco band that plays whatís sometimes called space-rock, a sort of fusion of modern rock and ambient music. Try to imagine a combination of elements from Rush, Pearl Jam, early Pink Floyd, and even Tangerine Dream. This music isnít meant to be listened to itís meant to be experienced. The bass and drums provide the general setting and the guitar swirls in, out, and around you creating a musical experience that doesnít exist in modern radio. Itís enjoyable, itís personal, and it takes musical talent to pull off, but itís also, unfortunately, not likely to draw mass attention.

This CD contains 5 tracks, 4 which are listed on the sleeve and an additional "hidden track." It runs just under a half-hour and succeeds in showing Vaportrail to be a serious entry into this rather small genre. The band consists of Roger Anderson on guitar and vocals, Mark Dansby on bass, and Anthony Koutsos filling in on drums while the band was between drummers.

I enjoyed this disc and found myself wanting to hear more from the band. My favorite track is "Going Under," the only instrumental, because I find the vocals to sometimes be intrusive with this particular type of music. "Going Under" features the cool swirling guitar sounds that successfully sell the whole space rock experience. For anyone that doesnít understand it, this one track is really what itís all about. Itís 4 Ĺ minutes of instrumental bliss that youíll wish was extended to 10. Of the remaining tracks, "Unfold" really rocks and "Marbles In The Sky" stakes out the middle ground between the two. "Live SlowlyÖ", and the hidden track, "Wallflower", are slower in tempo but enjoyable nonetheless.

Iíd recommend Vaportrail to anyone interested in the space rock genre, anyone whoís wants to give it a shot, and anyone whoís just bored with the current state of radio and wants something real, and different. The band is offering these 5-track CDs for a measly 5 bucks on their webpage (see link to the left) and deserves praise for doing so. So order your copy today!