I’m forever writing nonsense like “music and art should challenge you” like some sort of desperately earnest teenager. And I do believe it should, but I wasn’t prepared for just how challenging “For The Consideration of Amateur Jockeys” would be.

Civil Elegies music is….probably best described as a reaction. Nothing here feels composed or structured. It feels like a the rawest of nerves being slammed repeatedly against each other with only the briefest rest bites which are positively pregnant with menace. You know when people describe Seal as easy listening? This is the opposite of that.

Vasa up the game when it comes to the instrumental music. They somehow manage to take the introspective dynamics that make post-rock so appealing on paper and inject with a sense of adventure and spontaneity that forces you to pay much less attention to your shoes.

Vasa "Clamps" // Self-release 2015
Vasa “Clamps” // Self-release 2015

“Clamps” is the first real look into the band’s upcoming and its a fantastically textured track full of intricate melodies, wailing delayed lead lines and tight rhythms. During the heavier moments that track sounds like an avalanche. But a good natured one.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but technical metal has long been a genre largely composed of copy cats. New ideas are eschewed in favour of playing faster, or in a more difficult timing. It can be exciting for the instrumental nerd and it can be boring for the casual listener. Koralis are definitely still looking for their unique selling point, but the potential for them to stand out from their peers is pretty obvious.

The idea of the acoustic protest singer is out of fashion these days. Unless you’re Frank Turner. But it isn’t entirely clear that you can class playing stadiums with a professional backing band while you drop you’re carefully considered one-liners to a synchronised light show as being an acoustic “protest singer”. Which isn’t to say that Martyn McKenzie is a protest singer, but with “Old Lands” he’s brought together the emotive tugging of introspective acoustic music together with a thought-provoking political message. When was the last time someone like Frank Turner did that? Excepting that time he put the word ‘fuck’ in a song.

I love music that’s really noisy. There are two reasons for this. First: I’m a pretty sensitive person so I like music where the emotion is right up front. ‘Cause I’m deep yo. Second: I’m simple, so loud and noisy stuff where the emotional is almost painfully obvious is much easier for me to digest. If I ever feel like pretending I’m sophisticated and into more considered and introspective emoting then I tend to listen to artists like Nathaniel Noton-Freeman.