It’s not without reason that after the first two musical collections from Kasper Rosa that one would expect this too should contain a veritable stew of musical ideas – alongside their playful nature of softly smashing together the odd style with another of course. Just for fun.
…and not in the least bit because they’ve still not left the nest of youth that sometimes kills the beauty of simple invention.
They have invested effort and idea into everything they’ve come up with so far, and with considerably palatable results for an ‘instrumental band’, that glorified type of music that often can grate the soul hard with its lack of range. So. I went on the hunt to find one of them. Well, him. That one guy. He is hairy, but that doesn’t discount his opinion – James Bruce (the man behind the sticks) was able to give me a little insight into their workings on this, the band’s latest single, Coronal Mass Ejection.
JB: “I guess the thing that really strikes me about Coronal Mass Ejection and the rest of the new material is that we are really comfortable in our own skin now. We have been teasing out the ideas for this since we last toured in June and July. So I guess as we see it, it has been a long time coming getting the track polished and recorded for everyone.”
Locking themselves away, then letting themselves back out – and out they have come into the night, sometimes to frolic with the rest of us after a hard evening of jabbing at guitars for four hours at a time ‘nailed to a chair for their own good’ – has seemingly given them the necessary cohesion to continue bending ears in their direction. The time since last June’s mini-album release has seemed startlingly long, and with many bands gaining the resources and the aim (to dream) a little bigger (darling) – perhaps this gap has been needed. Something to refresh and set the balance new. I’ll not lie, for me personally it is just a tiny bit aurally titillating.
JB: “It is being treated as the start of a new style of writing for us as we begin putting the pieces together for an album over the next year or so. It’s exciting to say the least, because for the first time our concept doesn’t dictate the music stylistically so we kind of have a completely blank canvas to work with. We’re trying to do more of everything, more textures, more riffs, more ‘spacey jams’…”
“Seriously though it is an interesting jump for us because we’re working as a really tight unit and the music I think shows that. I mean, in my opinion at least, the stuff were doing now we are insanely happy with.”
The track is quite frankly a little of all the above, lies there be not from the mouth of Bruce.
Speaking more of movements, than of three part singles (which I know someone out there will kill me for saying) Coronal Mass Ejection gradually builds you into the world of Kasper Rosa. It treats you to some beautiful melodies, and there is that friendly playfulness there – though now with a little more experience and notable practice on its side. I’d deny myself saying age, or maturity, as that may imply some form of weariness to their sound, which doesn’t ring at all with me. They’ve made a point of forcing this nine and a half minute ‘single’ to genuinely journey, to move, and to try to move you. It kicks in, it drives you for a while; but never quite scales the metallic, rough workings of their previous material. There is an intentional distance here. There are vocals for fuck sake.
Is this a sample of what Kasper Rosa want to try to be on their album, or just a singular showcase of the best from the well?
I’m answering neither until I hear the rest of the album, but I have nothing but hope as the single crashes on towards the end. It’s an audience mover, filled not so much with soaring as diving guitars – the kind that make runs on beachheads in preparation for the real thrust of the attack. It is the softer crescendo that I think makes this all feel more accomplished, less of length and with nothing dragging in the middle – which you can really feel a quiet connection with, not the need to skip ahead.
Clark Phillips of course has his hand at the landing controls working in tandem with the lads, and all of the little trappings of that kind of production work – some of which dangles the Angels And Airwaves (and the Tool) card at me, with radio spikes and little background pulses of static – echo the edges of these grander ideas. Speaking finally, and with a little hindsight of what was a fantastic showcase of the new material…
JB: “We will be debuting two new tracks which at the moment we plan on including on the album, tonight at the Coronal Mass Ejection launch show, so it will be interesting to see what people’s reactions are. I guess for us the most important thing is getting across the effort, time and love we put into what we do. If people get that then I think we will be happy.”
With the showcase going down an absolute storm and future material ahead on the horizon prepared like a landing force (now the strafing runs have been and gone), I think that the future for Kasper Rosa will be bright and shiny.
Or is that just the sun flaring again?