The Mercury Program

From the Vapor of Gasoline

by Steve Lichtenstein

 

Gasoline is quite an intoxicating smell. While many folks seem to enjoy the reek of the toxic funk, most can’t explain why, and are quick to boil their hands to get the stank off after leaving its acceptable atmosphere of the gas station. Sure, it’s hard to explain why the smell is oddly amusing. Similarly, The Mercury’s Program’s sophomore effort, From the Vapor of Gasoline, holds the same sense of control over you.

While not stunning or earth-shattering, the album’s 10 songs have a repressive, captivating feel. Listening to “Nazca Lines of Peru,” you almost feel like you’re in a trance, with the stunted, ambient free-form jazz-rock feel and Tom Reno’s barely audible vocals. There’s really no other option than to let it embrace you, and that’s how the rest of From the Vapor of Gasoline is: it’s not great, and in fact, it all feels a bit too familiar. But it’s not offensive, either, posing a tough quandry. Each song has the same vague, kinetic energy that makes you wish for it to burst into something better, which it never does. Still, here isn’t so bad, either.

cover art

The Mercury Program

From the Vapor of Gasoline

(Tiger Style)

It’s quite far from radio fodder, and maybe even too much for a stoner’s attention span, but as an album, From the Vapor of Gasoline is as pleasantly noxious as its namesake, and at least for the time being, a better investment.

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.

 


//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

20 Questions: Nashville Singer-Songwriter Natalie Hemby

// Sound Affects

"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.

READ the article