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Album Review: Viet Cong – “Viet Cong”

Album Review: Viet Cong – “Viet Cong”


In the wake of ruins following the demise of Calgary’s Women, fueled by an explosive fist fight induced walk-off final show, and later the tragic death of guitarist Christopher Reimer, bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace picked up the pieces to form Viet Cong. As a befitting salute to their fallen brother and previous band, Flegel and Wallace put together what may well be the best musical release so far in 2015: a self-titled, psychedelic post-punk epic, with flavors of Interpol, Television, and Echo and the Bunnymen, but far heavier than all three.

At first underwhelmed by the lo-fi drone of “Newspaper Spoons,” thinking it an ill fit for an opening track, I gave the album a few more spins before my mind was changed. The track slowly builds momentum, from the booming texture of blown-out drums, layered with transcendental vocal incantations and screeching sitar-esque guitar ramblings, before all being washed out by a euphoric haze of synthesizer. It’s a perfect introduction to what becomes a recurring theme—long, dark, and slow buildups. Each track wrought with explosive percussion, stabbing guitar and a mesmerizing synth, the album needs to be listened to in its entirety to be fully digested.

Standout tracks include “Bunker Buster”, “Silhouettes” and the eleven minute odyssey “Death.” »

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– Travis Leipzig