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Progland was founded by John Gabbard in 2005. It's purpose has been to provide you, the music community with the latest music and dvd reviews. It will continue to be your link to the most popular music reviews in the progressive world.


Rush- Vapor Trails

Reviewed by: Eric Lewis
Genre: Prog Rock
Country: Canadian
Language: English
Length: 69:04
Release Date: May 14, 2002
Atlantic Records
Band Members: Geddy Lee / bass, vocals  
  Alex Lifeson / electric and acoustic guitras, mandola  
  Neil Peart / drums, cymbals  
Track Listing: 1) One Little Victory (5:08) 8) Secret Touch (6:34)
  2) Ceiling Unlimited (5:27) 9) Earthshine (5:37)
  3) Ghost Rider (5:39) 10) Sweet Miracle (3:40)
  4) Peaceable Kingdom (5:22) 11) Nocturne (4:49)
  5) The Stars Look Down (4:28) 12) Freeze (Part IV of Fear)(6:16)
  6) How It Is (4:05) 13) Out Of The Cradle (5:03)
  7) Vapor Trail (4:56)  
The Review

Rush is due to release their 17th studio disc "Vapor Trails" on May 14, 2002. This is Rush's first studio disc in six years.

I have to admit, being a Rush-head myself, that I was very excited about the release of this disc (as I am every time Rush puts out a new record). The reason being, is that I keep hoping that Rush will harken back to their glory days of prog and release a disc of genuine prog material. Yeah, 'Roll The Bones', 'Counterparts', and 'Test For Echo' (their last three studio discs; 1991/93/96 respectively) have the occasional prog overtone (a time change here and there, and a few good solos), but lets face it, those discs are really just rock records with a few progressive tendencies that, quite frankly, don't come anywhere close to 'Hemispheres' or 'Permanent Waves'. But, they're decent records.

Being totally aware of the continuing decline of prog elements in Rush's music in the last ten or so years, I was prepared for the possibility of a disc that was....well, in a word...bad. Boy was I wrong.

The truth be known is that 'Vapor Trails' is simply horrid. Rush has completely thrown out all of the qualities we've come to love them for, in place of sounding current and hip. These guys are actually trying to target the same crowd that buys Creed and Staind (and the like) discs. Those bands record very basic hard rock with very little musical innovation. The fact is, is that the tunes on 'Vapor Trails' could easily be played by guys a third their age with a third of their musical training.

Look at the stats: 13 tracks, absolutely NO keyboards, and ONE guitar solo. The one solo that Alex Lifeson does commit to tape is so horribly buried in the mix, the casual listener might not even catch it. Most of the songs are in straight 4/4 time (with the occasional time change), and sound to my trained ear as to be in roughly the same key(s), as well as being in the same tempo. Alex Lifeson's guitar sound is the same on just about every song (straight muddy distorted tone-no processing) and Neal Peart sounds like he's hooked on straight ahead beginner drumming with his atypical (bass-snare-bass-snare patterns).

It's hard to believe (really hard) that this is the same group that recorded Rush classics like 'The Camera Eye', 'Hemispheres', '2112' and 'Natural Science'. For god's sake, even more current Rush material like 'Virtuality' (from 96's Test For Echo) or 'Stick It Out' (from 93's Counterparts), catch my attention for their sheer riffy-ness. This disc has none of that. It's like watching off the air TV 'snow' at 4:00AM. Boring... and very at that.

Lets face it. What draws many of us to Rush in the first place is their ability to play the absolute hell out of their instruments. Geddy Lee isn't really the best of vocalists. I challenge anyone to tell me they bought a Rush disc because Geddy is a hell of a vocalist. He really can't carry a tune, and his vocal melodies aren't all that hot. It's the playing that we want to hear and see. Now, with this disc, all that seems unimportant to Rush. They'd rather play basic tunes and try to appeal to a different listener than the ones that supported them in the first place. It's just one big smack in the face. Highly dissappointing. The only thing left of Rush is the 'Vapor Trails' of what they once were.

(review by Eric Louis)


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