Vasco Da Gama
Out NowRating: 4.5/5
On 'Nada Mas' the spaz starts immediately (can I say that?), with a set of manic harmonies before pleasantly strong vocals and reverb-drenched harmonies enter the mix. The overall effect is probably the mildest verse on the EP, and it's rather unfortunate that peoples' first exposure to it will come in autumn, for it's got an undeniable summer-pop lilt to it.
'Long Ships, Massive Hands' meanwhile has an almost power-pop vibe to it; I'm reminded of 'Tomorrow's Papers' by Luther Russell (bizarrely enough), and more so than the previous track the drums are allowed to coast to the fore in the composition, highlighting that truism of math- that it just isn't possible without a truly exceptional drummer. Though on the EP the excessively trebly guitars aren't fully counterweighted by the bass, live this song is an absolute belter, and it's definitely one of those tracks that grows substantially better once you've contextualised it by seeing Vasco play a show.
While we're on the subject, let's just deal with their band name too, because it's fucking awesome. I mean, besides the fact that it's one of those band names that I really wish I'd thought up first, it somehow manages to pretty solidly evoke the sheer bipolarity of what Vasco are trying to achieve with their songs.
Their grand math-pop gesture is Guts Ahoy!, which sounds actually rather like Wot Gorilla?; rather it's the EP closer, 'Teach the Young Team' that sets the template for their future success.
Complicated and catchy, obtuse in arrangement, it's nevertheless packed with pop hooks and great melodies. There's no question of it being their 'dumb pop song', or something they should be embarrassed by; for simply constructing something so brilliant is bloody hard. It's almost too cool, too brilliant for its own good, but I can't hold that against Vasco. I'll be humming it for weeks to come, and if you check it out I'm sure you will be too.
My prediction: an album of tracks like 'Young Team' and 'Long Ships...' and Vasco will be huge. In the meantime, slake your thirst with this exceptional EP and get excited about what's yet to come from this thrilling young band.
Get it from Paypertiger here. Check out Vasco on Facebook here.