A couple of weeks ago I featured math-rock band Vasco Da Gama from Liverpool and mentioned their latest EP Geography. As a fan of their quirky demeanour and upbeat music, it was something I simply had to listen to. They’ve already had a lot of praise from the likes of The Fly, Rocksound and Bito Lito!, so this year already looks to be shaping up to be a good one for them.
Math-rock derives from indie but as an experimental genre, it often means that the music that falls under it is quite unpredictable. That is certainly one word I’d use to describe the tracks on Geography. Catchy, sunny and kooky are others. Opening track Brigadiers is a classic indiepop song with juddery riffs and a Californian vibe. The rhythm and chorus are both earworms and as a result, it could easily be a big summer hit, were it released as a single.
The EP moves on to Powder Post with a trippy electronic riff and another resonating guitar at the intro. The vocals don’t seem to quite sit right on the rhythm, giving it a distorted style. It has a really raw and unpolished quality to it which I really like. A siren continues to sound in the background and the volume seems to go up and down constantly throughout the instrumental in the middle. Lots of strong imagery within the lyrics make it a jerky track that it’s impossible to get bored of.
Tonight We Will Eat Something That Has Two Colours In It has an Americana riff and a sunny, slightly retro sound. The vocals are breathy and a little tired which matches the chilled style of the song. Like its predecessor, it dies down and speeds up again repeatedly making it another unpredictable track with many twists and turns. A rhythmic clicking in the back keeps that quirky edge that Vasco Da Gama have.
Ending on The Greenland Problem, the band go a little bit pop-punk. A catchy singing riff joins the vocals which have a teenage punk feel come the chorus. There is another stark, quiet period where the instruments have their moment in the middle of the song, which appears to be a signature feature of a Vasco Da Gama song. It remains kooky and trippy right until the atmospheric end, which conjures up pictures of awesome live performance.
Geography is perhaps one for the kooks and geeks out there. It is cool but in a hipster fashion. If you like a bit of indie, pop and songs that twist and turn constantly then it’s the EP for you.