Glaswegian instrumental post / math-rockers Vasa are no strangers to Leeds having played here several times in the past couple of years.
Their debut album, Colours, released on Friday 16th October, is an epic beast.
Album intro, 'Smashletes', starts by punching you straight in the guts and, like Muhammed Ali whistling whispered secrets into your cauliflower ears, gives you an idea of what to expect from the rest of the record.
Full-length opener, 'As Long As It Doesn't Explode' , whilst being impeccably produced, gives you as close a feeling to watching Vasa live without actually being there. And, incredibly, they manage to make this song (and many others throughout the album) sound almost inexplicably Scottish. There's parts that sound like bagpipes even though they're only using guitars, bass and drums. It can only be some kind of witchcraft.
Recent single, 'Fat Ronaldo', comes across like the Trumpton marching band on a beach holiday playing their version of the World Of Sport theme tune. This is a good thing. In fact, it's a GREAT thing. Hell, I'm even getting some afro beats in there. Absolute trickery! Whilst 'Not a Cop' has been around for a while now it still sounds super-fresh. Like an excited drunken bear dancing in a bath of honey. I love that bear.
Album interlude 'Punched' is the cup-of-tea-and-bourbon-biscuit-song. Inviting you to take a much needed breather after a wonderfully relentless assault on the ears and brain. Use it well, listeners, as there's way more to come.
Next track, 'The Angry Dome' is heart-wellingly anthemic giving you the dual emotions of being cruelly dumped and going on an incredible first date all at the same time. It's the sound of Mills & Boon picking up guitars and throwing out spectacular, angular rock instead of writing pulp novels. 'Cynthia', which appeared on the band's debut EP then gets a reworking for the album - building up to a blistering and tuneful wall of noise and showing just how far Vasa have come from then to now.
The second interlude, 'Unpunched', feels like sitting alone on a waltzer on the scariest fairground in the world so it's a blessing when 'Ergonomic Keyboard' starts, conjuring up images of workers wearing shiny, bright-yellow helmets hammering away on a well organised construction site. But wait a minute - they're not workers, they're actually secret super-spies who fight sharks and steal the crown jewels. On a speedboat! Awesome.
Album closer 'Poseidon's Kiss' is a waltz with the post-rock world. It makes you want to link hands with all your friends in a circle, stomping inwards and outwards in a rhythmic celebration which ends with everyone in a beautiful, shambolic heap where we're all wearing each others clothes.
In short, Colours is post-rock music for people who want to smile and dance a lot and Vasa are much more than a band - they are musical magicians.
You can pre-order the album via https://vasa.bandcamp.com/ and listen to an exlusive stream of the album via The Independent here;