The name Vasa has crossed everyone lips since their debut EP Never Have Dreams was released in 2012.
Since then they have capitalised on the fantastic reception the EP received and have made a name for themselves supporting the likes of Maybeshewill and Deafheaven as well as playing T In The Park.
‘Not A Cop’ is the first release since the EP and starts with an intricate ostinato on guitar, which is soon accompanied by the other parts of Vasa.
The following section consists of three distinct melodies that works in perfect unison that create the vast abstract soundscape sounds straight out of a 80s sci-fi.
This interlude serves as a perfect introduction to ‘Not A Cop’ as it grabs your attention with its expertly crafted sound.
Before long though Vasa plunges you into a discordian guitar driven melody that they have become renown for as we see a progression from the record.
This section alternates between the atmospheric guitar driven riff to a section largely led by Alex Gordon’s drum grooves that are blended seamlessly together.
During the progression of this section we see cameo appearances of Vasa’s members lead the melody with their own solos, the distinct and catchy bassline of John Niblock standing out as the most impressive.
A sudden change drives us into a completely different section that shows Vasa at their strongest, a complex arrangement of layers that create the soaring and melodic driving rock that demonstrates they have mastered their craft since their previous release.
The intricate guitar works of Blaine Thompson and Scott Coupar create the interesting and absorbing melodies that drive the tracks promise.
This section is broken by the many nuisances that drive a constant interest in the record before finishing on the guitar driven riff that should hope to drive the crowds wild in a live situation.
B-side ‘Something Awful’ strikes a more sombre tone, on first impressions the guitar lead reminds of Hell is for Heroes, Hundred Reasons and other bands from the early 2000s.
This track progresses into the a section that features as its highlight a heavily effected guitar style wail melody that only adds to the atmosphere of the track.
With these sections repeated we are then led into a build up that is followed by a climatic end of complex melodies and driving guitars that only reinforce that Vasa are masters of driving, motivating instrumental rock.
Since the release of Never Have Dreams you would be forgiven for thinking that Vasa peaked too early and that future releases could not improve on what is already an incredible sound.
‘Not A Cop’ looks to push the boundaries of expectations held to Vasa, there is more refinement, control and mastery of complex emotional harmonies in this record showing us that these guys are not done surprising us and only look to advance their foothold as one of the leading instrumental bands in Scotland.
Words: Euan Coe