Every so often here at Already Heard Towers, we get chucked an album that as exciting as it is disarming. Glasgow instrumentalists VASA have thrown us one such curveball in the form of their debut album ‘Colours’ and boy, is it a curveball we’re happy we caught! When you see a band describe themselves as “progressive post-rock”, you’d be inclined to expect atmospherics, introspection and subtleties. Well, those are all in attendance but never have they sounded so utterly joyous in their delivery.
From the opening barrage of ‘Smashletes’ to the closing disco beats of ‘Poseidon’s Kiss’, ‘Colours’ is a grin-inducing, effervescent explosion of upbeat riffs, skittishly light-hearted percussion and wonderfully windswept electronica. In terms of attitude, just imagine Andrew WK having a crack at Cave-In’s classic ‘Jupiter’ album. See, how fun does that sound?
Lead single ‘Fat Ronaldo’ is the perfect example of how Vasa are able to invade your brain riff by riff, without the need for vocals, and stay firmly implanted there with the very best earworms – it’s big, it’s bold, it’s vibrant and most of all it’s overwhelmingly intense in the most positive way imaginable. They also have that glorious ability to sound authentically Caledonian without resorting to bagpipes and fife – their heritage seems to ooze effortlessly out of every note and ‘Colours’ is all the more glorious for it.
’Colours’ is a simply terrific record and along with it, VASA should be marked down as one of 2015’s greatest and most welcome surprises. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an instrumental album as engaging or downright fun as this all year.
’Colours’ by VASA is out now.
Words by Rob Fearnley.