Album Reviews

Vapour Theories: Celestial Scuzz – “hymnal psychedelia”

The Bardo Pond offshoot project is something truly majestic.

Brothers John and Michael Gibbons are better known to us as the primary cogs in the machine that is Bardo Pond.

Here, they form as Vapour Theories and with their third album and first release since the 2014 split release with Loren Connors in Celestial Scuzz, we are met with dreamy soundscapes that wash over you like a cosmic gold rush.

Think Sunn O))) but without the humid, shuddering drones. Vapour Theories channel their feedback-drenched elusive psychedelia into those warm sun-dappled days.

The Besnard Lakes interview: “there is always a bit of serendipity when we make our albums”

Celestial Scuzz has been in the works for two years and with the Gibbons brothers both recently debunking from Bardo Pond‘s Lemur House after a 20 occupancy, this release couldn’t have come at a better time.

It starts with opener, Unoccupied Blues – a slow psych jam that feels like the sprinkling of fairy dust falling from the sun-drenched skies.

Vapour Theories - Celestial Scuzz

High Treason is more of a comedown, bathed in ambient acoustic arrangements that could could echo through the church doors during the reading of someone’s eulogy.

Breaking Down (The Portals of Hell) provides more sunrise-scuzz and if anything, could be an off-cut from the ‘Pond‘s jaw-dropping release from 2017 in Under the Pines.

LONESAW interview: “we just make the art we make”

Celestial Scuzz is a journey into a world where there is no worry. No concern, just like hitting the open road and feeling that breeze hit your face.

Perhaps the song that encapsulates this beautiful journey is the cover of Brian Eno‘s The Big Ship – the moment that steals the show on Celestial Scuzz. Engaging with this splendour is almost like walking on clouds. With lovely tones that cleanse the soul, this, friends, is hymnal psychedelia.

Celestial Scuzz is out now via Fire Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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