I've been meaning to check out this Austin, TX-based band for quite some time now (they’ve been active since 2009) but for whatever reason I’ve never gotten around to it. So much punk, so little time I guess. They have released a string of EPs and splits up until this point, but this record is their first official LP. It found its way to me unsolicited and I couldn't be happier, as I actually had it on my to-buy list.
Vaaska play punk just the way I like it: noisy and fast. Like Criaturas, another band with whom they share membership, all they lyrics are in Spanish; something for which I am a total sucker even through my Spanish is shoddy at best. I mean, I can get through a week in Mexico if I’m only ordering food, taking cabs, and looking for the bathroom but that’s about it. But enough about me. What’s important to know is that this record totally rips.
Vaaska’s versatility is really impressive. D-beat is at the core but surrounding that is a whole load of scorching axe work, agile drumming, and rock ‘n’ roll attitude. The guitar solos on songs like “Guerra Sagrada” and “Masacre” are searing, extinction level licks that explode all over the tracks like mini mushroom clouds disintegrating basements full of crusty punks into piles of ash. And the drumming throughout the whole album drives an anxious, maniacal pace that rarely allows the listener a moment of rest. They play with a real assertive, almost arrogant attitude that I really dig. Kind of reminds me of Nightgaun. Production-wise, it’s fairly clean; not enough echo or white noise to be labeled as “raw”, or as big a room-filling sound as epic crust, but loud as all fuck.
Overall it's a really nice-looking package, featuring artwork by the always reliable Brian Miller. A lynch mob of charged skeleton punks wielding various weapons adorns the front cover, while another punk projectile vomits the song titles onto the back cover. Evin if derivative of the style, it still stands apart because of Miller's impeccable attention to detail. It comes with a two-sided lyric insert that shows a dedication to handwritten yet consistent font. Mail order copies from Beach Impediment are on translucent purple vinyl and are limited to 150. (Likely snatched up by the time you read this, but give it a shot.) Others, like the one I have, come in standard black.
8.0 / 10
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