Vapors of Morphine are a power trio featuring electric baritone sax, drums, and 2 string slide bass (often guitar). Baritone saxophonist Dana Colley is the through-line between Vapors and “low rock” pioneers Morphine, who’s leader Mark Sandman left this earth while performing onstage in Italy in 1999.
VoM perform much of the Morphine repertoire, plus new material and original versions of selective covers. They expand on the ethereal, hypnotic sounds popularized by the group in the nineties, and dig into their influences, from African music to delta Blues.
Vapors was formed over a decade ago by Colley, singer and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Lyons and Morphine’s original drummer Jerome Deupree. Drummer Tom Arey (J. Geils Band, Peter Wolfe’s Midnight Ramblers, Ghosts of Jupiter) replaced Deupree in 2019. Their new album represents both a new era and a return to form for Vapors of Morphine.
Fear & Fantasy, in its often lush arrangement, 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. It only seems fitting when both bands have been blessed with a revolving cast of top-notch percussionists.
Fear & Fantasy is available for direct order from the UK here, as a limited edition 180 gram marbled colour gatefold LP, plus CD. It is distributed in the US by Cobraside and can be ordered through many retail outlets.