Together (The Vapors Own Records)
After hitting new-wave pay dirt in 1980 with a massive hit single, Turning Japanese, The Vapors found further success harder to replicate. After two Lp’s and a handful of singles, the band broke up, seemingly destined for the “Where Are They Now?” File and one-hit wonder tours.
Flash forward to 2020, and we’ve got a new record by the band, original line-up in tow, minus drummer Howard Smith. Time hasn’t seemed to have affected these working-class lads at all, even as they inch their way towards being pensioners.
Together is a strong set of songs, but don’t expect the razor’s-edge 80’s pop sound of Turning Japanese. The band has always reminded me of The Jam, minus Paul Weller’s ferociousness, but here they edge more towards the power pop genre. Did I mention that the songs are top-notch? Indeed, they are.
Together is a peppy tune that reminisces with rose-colored glasses, and Crazy rocks and rolls with a punky Chuck Berry riff & killer chorus. My fave, though, is the haunting Girl From The Factory, a tale of a bloke who goes on a date, only to find the next day, that the object of his affections has taken her own life the previous night.
Together is a mighty fine return for The Vapors, I hope we can look forward to more. I only hope we don’t have to wait another 40 years.