September 7, 2012 in Features

‘Buck’ starts here as Belt of Vapor revs up again

By The Spokesman-Review
File photo

Progressive rockers Belt of Vapor will appear with Whiskey Dick Mountain and Brothers ov Midnight tonight at Mootsy’s.
(Full-size photo)

Spokane math-prog-rock favorite Belt of Vapor can hardly be accused of overexposure.

While BoV has been a staple in the local scene for well over a decade, the trio has been known to fall below the radar from time to time, only to re-enter the atmosphere with another batch of face-melting rock ’n’ roll aggression.

Such is the case when Belt of Vapor returns with a new 7-inch, “Buck,” released on Seattle’s Whoa Boat Records.

If the self-recorded 7-inch is any indication of where Belt of Vapor is headed with its soundscape, then expect the same rough edge with relatively fewer song dynamics, which is by design, said Aaron Powell, Belt of Vapor’s lead singer and multi-instrumentalist.

“It’s definitely a lot more straight-forward rock. It’s a different direction for us,” Powell said. “I’ve been more focused on vocals. I think that has affected the overall sound and sense of more melodic rock.”

After the release of “Buck,” Belt of Vapor is planning to go underground once again, as guitarist Bob Homburg is an expectant father.

“Buck” is laying the foundation for Belt of Vapor’s forthcoming EP – due in November – tentatively titled “Recluse.”

Belt of Vapor appears with Whiskey Dick Mountain and Brothers ov Midnight tonight at 10 p.m. at Mootsy’s, 406 W. Sprague Ave. There is a $5 cover. 

Family-friendly Atmosphere

An anchoring element of the Rhymesayers Entertainment independent rap empire, Atmosphere is back with a new outlook on life, one that revolves around family.

Since emerging from the Minneapolis scene in 2000, the eclectic rap group has defined Midwest indie hip-hop with esoteric instrumentation, diabolical rhyme flows and subject matter that cuts to the core for outcasts and misfits.

After riding the periphery of hip-hop for so many years, Atmosphere presents itself as more stalwart and self-contained than ever on its latest LP, “The Family Sign.”

The record recalls personal tales of lost loved ones while holding on to tighter bonds in present-tense relationships.

Aurally, the album continues Atmosphere’s veer toward a wider use of live instrumentation.

While Atmosphere has appeared on stage with live instruments, this is the first recording to feature actual band members.

 And yet, Ant’s signature production style, combined with Slug’s trademark vocal drawl are reminiscent of Atmosphere’s earlier, more lo-fi sounds, chrome-dipped in futurist gloss.

Atmosphere appears with DJ Just Nine, I Self Devine, and Carnage on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at The Knitting Factory, 919 W. Sprague Ave. Tickets are $26, through

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