Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spokane, Washington may be the self-proclaimed capitol of the inland empire of the pacific northwest, but it's a gritty, sprawling town with a set of falls whose past has a direct link with Missoula's glacial lake. When the dam that held that lake back broke, at the end of the last ice age, millions of cubic yards of water went blasting across the broad plain of what's now eastern Washington. The water scrubbed out hollows and valleys, leaving a scabland of exposed basalt in its wake.

Speaking of leaving scablands of exposed basalt in their wake, Belt of Vapor leave plenty of exposed basalt around after they're done playing. The long-standing punk-cum-prog outfit has a sound that's as sprawling and rich as the fertile plains of the Palouse, as starkly beautiful as the scablands and as gritty as the Spokane bus terminal.

They're veterans of Total Fests past, having played first Total Fest V and the VII a few years ago. They've got the sort of three-dudes-who've-done-this-together for a long, long time vibe. It's got a propulsive, enveloping sort or plow to it. I always hear some alot of what I like about Lightning Bolt, with an octavey, played-lead style bass and a hard-hitting drummer. Add the snaking guitar of school teacher and rocker Bob Homburg and I think you've got it. Get belted.

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