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Vapors of Morphine - Fear and Fantasy

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 18 / 1 / 2022

Vapors of Morphine - Fear and Fantasy
Label: Schnitzel Records
Format: LP


Haunting and original post-rock on latest album from Morphine offshoot, Vapors of Morphine

Formed over a decade ago by Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley with singer and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Lyons, and Morphine’s original drummer Jerome Deupree, Vapors of Morphine now includes drummer Tom Arey of the J. Geils Band, Peter Wolfe's Midnight Ramblers and Ghosts of Jupiter fame. The band was officially formed in 2009, after Colley was asked to bring a group to a rock festival in Italy. Rewinding ten years earlier, Morphine's frontman Mark Sandman had suddenly died of a massive heart attack while performing live. Colley eventually invited Lyons to sing and play slide bass, along with Deupree also bringing in friend "Washtub" Robbie Phillips who built a two-string bass for him and started learning the Morphine repertoire. The band have toured through the United States, South America, Europe and Russia with highlights being European and South American tours in 2017 and 2018 and appearing at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2012 among others. It is Colley who is the through-line between Vapors and “low rock” pioneers Morphine and they perform much of the original Morphine repertoire along with new material and original versions of selective covers. They span the music genres in good style as is shown by their influences, from African music to Delta blues. This new outing 'Fear and Fantasy', recalls Morphine’s final album, 'The Night', where Deupree teamed up with Billy Conway, the drummer who had replaced him; this time Arey plays on one side, Deupree on the other. The whole shebang kicks off with some stylish reggae beats on 'Blue Dream' and continues with the mellow vibe from there on in with the outstanding 'Golden Hour', a fine example along with 'No Sleep' with its haunting sax and 'Special Rider' which appears halfway in. 'Irene' is a sonic soundalike for Jackson Browne and is little faster than the main. 'Lasidan' is a little more uptempo and drifts on into some Delta blues and what feels like a North African vibe. The :Latin-sounding 'Drop Out Mambo' is a joy and the closing 'Frankie and Johnny' is a romp to end what is essentially a brilliant listen It is absolutely pointless giving an example of what this sounds like as it is so unique so I am not going to other than saying this is another treat to end the year with. 'Fear and Fantasy' is available as a limited edition 180 gram marbled colour gatefold LP, plus CD and it's bloody marvellous!

Track Listing:-
1 Blue Dream
2 Golden Hour
3 Irene
4 No Sleep
5 Special Rider
6 Lasidan
7 Drop Out Mambo
8 Doreen

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