Album Review: Vasa – Colours
Posted by Greg Murray
Vasa‘s debut album Colours is rhapsodic and absolutely crammed with emo-melodies. From the 00.00 mark, the Glasgow post-rock instrumentalists sound like arming themselves with manic smiles and then flattening anything in their path is high on the priority list. Chugging, palm-muted guitar riffs and thundering drums play anchor to bounding electronics and mathy, ecstatic lead lines. The production on the album is worth a mention early on, too; with the help of a stack of different guitar pedals and a super tight over-all mix, Vasa craft interesting sounds that weave in and out of each other’s paths with gargantuan vigour, barely leaving any room to breathe but probably being into erotic asphyxiation anyway.
Short introduction Smashletes bridges into As Long As It Doesn’t Explode seamlessly, offering instant gratification to all your hyper-active rock needs. These two opening songs showcase Vasa‘s ability to link solidly consistent grooves to erratic, ever-changing melody lines, and the other eight compositions don’t lull either.
Fat Ronaldo is the first single from the album (do check the music video out), and it encapsulates everything I mentioned above – as well as being a good example of Vasa‘s penchant for naming songs. There’s even a nice little thematic break in the last quarter of the song that sounds like steel drums, but can probably be accredited once more to the thoughtful guitar pedal selection.
Not A Cop is led by a frantic, ’80’s comic-book-cartoon guitar riff and keeps Vasa on an exciting track. On the surface nothing seems to be dramatically different from the previous three songs, but there is a distinct sense of hopefulness, of optimism that the good guys will eventually win out and blast a baddie with a name like Cameroltron back to his alternate-parallel-fuck-dimension.
Punched then spirals gently (well as gently as Vasa seem capable of) downwards, warping the theme from Not A Cop into a distant, meandering shadow behind slowly crashing drums and swelling, reverby guitars.
This illustrates another point that’s worth making about Colours, because the tracks all meld cohesively into one another without falling into the trap of sounding too similar. It’s a tight-rope, and there are certainly points on the album where the high, distorted guitars come close to tipping over into the gorge of samey-ness. Thankfully they don’t unbalance though, and this is almost definitely to do with Vasa‘s commitment to unreserved high-energy, and unwillingness to sit still.
Overall, Colours is an enormous sounding triumph of a debut record. Vasa will excite you with their serving up of glorious, thick riffage, and probably try to blast you into orbit while they’re at it.
Vasa – Colours is out now via Black Sheep Records and is available here on limited edition frosted clear vinyl with blue and yellow splatter art, as well as CD and digital download.