A lot has happened in the three years since the "FUTURO PRIMITIVO" EP dropped in correlation with the band's 2016 Japanese tour and now VAASKA returns to a world that's worse off with what could possibly be their final statement in the form of the "INOCENTES CONDENADOS" EP. Six tracks of smoldering D-Beat based hardcore punk which could arguably be the greatest recording session of their 10+ years as a band. Mastered by Kenko at Communichaos Media Clay Station in Sweden AKA exactly who you want to be twisting the knobs on a project like this. Each record comes in a Discharge style pocket sleeve with collaborative effort imagery by Todo Destruido, Jack Blackmon and Ryan Fromdeland. Limited to 500 copies.
Our take: Texas’s Vaaska are back with a new 4-song EP, their first release since 2016’s Futuro Primitivo 7” on Beach Impediment. By my count this is the 7th Vaaska vinyl release, and at this point they have a bulky discography that may intimidate newcomers, but I assure you it’s all good. As with long-running bands like Motorhead or the Fall, it’s fun to listen to how the band’s sound evolves from release to release. If I had to sum up Inocentes Condenados in a few words, I’d say it’s the most Discharge-inspired Vaaska release. Vaaska are a d-beat band, so Discharge has always been an influence, but Inocentes finds them dabbling with more overt appropriation, particularly on “Atrapados,” which incorporates the riff from Discharge’s “Fight Back.” Other tracks graft Discharge’s distinctive chord progressions onto Vaaska’s well-established template, reaching a climax with the closing track, “No a la Guerra.” Notable for being one of the few Vaaska tracks without a blazing guitar solo (though there is a big swell of feedback where you expect one to come in), “No a la Guerra” is one of the rawest, noisiest, and most primal tracks that Vaaska has ever laid down. Every single Vaaska record is good. If you’ve been buying them all, then there’s no reason to stop with Inocentes Condenados, but if you’re new to the band, it’s also a fine place to start tackling their discography.