Typically if I receive any press release with the word post-rock in the title I tend to ignore it. I realise it’s been a cool thing to be into for a few years, but I’ve never been cool and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon, so I can’t say post-rock has ever done a thing for me. Except bore me to tears that is.
But there is some truth to the idea that every kind of music does have at least a few great artists, regardless as to any groundless prejudices against genres themselves. Obviously my own prejudices mean that my experience of post-rock is pretty narrow but Vasa are one of the few post-rock bands I genuinely enjoy.
‘Not A Cop’ is now the track I’d use to introduce someone to Vasa. It’s short, it has the quiet to loud dynamic, its got an almost irritatingly catchy melody and it feels almost sickeningly positive and upbeat. Bar the quiet to loud dynamic it doesn’t have all that much in common with post-rock really. This track feels much more like a set of talented instrumentalists flexing their musical muscles for fun than it does the kind of overly serious artistic dirge that is so synonymous with post-rock.
Though there are points in the song that sound as if they’re crying out for a wonderfully melodic vocal over them. Though obviously instrumentation is the focus of Vasa’s music, it would be cool to hear some of their compositions with a talented and imaginative vocal over the top. Particularly that movement that appears about 2.18 and then repeats shortly afterwards. That’s an observation that probably says more about my preference for music with vocals than it does say anything about the ability of Vasa to write excellent instrumental tracks.
‘Something Awful’ the second track on this double A-side single is more recognisably post-rock than the lead track. Thankfully however the guitar leads that open this track sound a lot more sophisticated, spontaneous and unhinged than anything I’m used to hearing from post-rock bands when they try to be overly sensitive or sinister. This track is nowhere near as immediate as ‘Not A Cop’ however and the empty moments of feedback and echo that end the song are as annoying here as they are on every other song to ever end a song, or a set, like that.
‘Not A Cop’ is at the end of the day an incredibly strong single that serves as an excellent introduction to a great band. That’s kind of what you want from your first release of the year isn’t it?