Vasa! What a wonderful word. It represents both folly and grandeur, having given its name to a marvelous, splendid and powerful ship of the line by the then Swedish Empire…which promptly sank in the Stockholm harbor on the day of its christening. It’s also the name of an amazing Scottish band we reviewed last year, with their frolicking math/post rock which draws inspiration from Adebisi Shank and other, wide-eyed fanatics of huge melodies. It is our absolute privilege and pleasure to premiere their most recent frigate, cutting a comely shape across the waves of major-key riffs, swelling build ups and wind-drenched drums. Nautical metaphors aside, head on down below to find your sea-legs (last one, I promise) with Vasa’s “Open”!
“Open” is one half of a double A-side release coming October 29th (that’s tomorrow, friends) from Vasa, titled “Burst Open”. The first track, “Burst”, can be found right here (on Arctic Drones by the way, which is a blog you should follow). While “Burst” is a great track, it relies more on the familiar sound we had heard on Colours, their 2015 release. “Open” is a much more expansive and grandiose take on their sound; instead of a central, sweet, repeating riff (the hallmark of their sound and, indeed, of most major key post rock), “Open” is filled not only with pensive buildups towards release but also of bigger and more prominent chords when that release comes. It enables “Open” instant memorability, raising it above the usual Vasa material by enlarging the overall approach.
Amidst such strong headwinds (I lied, there are more nautical metaphors), a tether is needed. That tether is found in the familiar guitar tone, the location of the drums and their relationship with the bass. The groove section in general is what keeps this track aground, making sure it maintains cohesion in the throes of its explosion and unfurling. In that regard, it is the perfect companion to “Burst”; the first track was a nice “hello”, a firm handshake from a good friend. “Open” is that selfsame friend giving you good news, expounding on new and bright events in his life. As such, it also leaves us waiting for more and leads us to say: lads, we need more than two tracks! Hopefully, 2017 graces us with a new, full length release from Vasa. Until then, you can head on over here to grab Burst Open before its release, tomorrow.