The Canadians formerly known as Viet Cong, now known as Preoccupations are readying what is sure to be one of the top albums of 2018. I’m probably a little late on this since I was in a snow day stuper yesterday, but when songs are as good as “Espionage”, I’ll share them late or not. The track has a very 80s electronica, new wave feel to it with the usual intense vocal delivery from frontman Matt Flegel. This is shaping up nicely.
Preoccupations will drop New Material on March 23rd via Jagjaguwar.
Preoccupations (FKA Viet Cong) are going to be releasing a new album soon that matches their new name, and if it’s anything like last year’s debut release, then we’re going to be in for a treat. From the sound of the singles they’ve released thus far, I believe my excitement is well motivated. Today, they’ve put out a video for the second single off Preoccupations, which is called “Degraded,” and is a three minute collection of visually stimulating images. The track itself is great– it has the dark swirling post-rock energy that Preoccupations does so well, but takes a more streamlined approach than what we heard from this group in the past. Take a listen below and hear for yourself;Preoccupations will be out September 16th via Jagjaguwar… preorder it here.
P.S. Vinyl snobs should know that Secretly Group has started a Secret Society that sends you a new exclusive colored LP every month, and Preoccupations are part of the launch. Check that out here.
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
There’s been a lot of controversy recently around The Artist Formally Known As Viet Cong, but despite all that nominal hubbub, this four member group of post punkers are swinging through our town to play some heavy rock at Fun Fun Fun Fest. Viet Cong’s self titled album came out at the beginning of this year, and since then the band’s made waves with their dark wave post punk. Word on the street is that they’re one of the bands that you shouldn’t miss and that everyone will be talking about. So take a listen below and check them out on the Orange Stage on Friday at 3:35 or at The Sidewinder at 12:15 Saturday Night.
Viet Cong is a group formed from the ashes of Women, with two members from that lineup going forward and adding two members to create something new. The result is a similar darkwave sound that you might have heard from that past band, but with some nuances that keep things distinctive.
The band starts their debut full-length record out with “Newspaper Spoons,” a crunchy and buzzing staccato track that immerses you in the blackness that this record holds. The vocals are distanced and monotone, chanting single words or short phrases in bursts of lyrics while the extra fuzzy guitars meander and strike in the background. Little riffs of synthesizer join the mix toward the end, cutting through the static wall of noise the band has created with a sleek and clean electronic sound. This track is a good introduction for this record, as it shows you Viet Cong at their bleakest; as the album moves on, the sound gets a little warmer than this number, but for the majority of time, the group lives in this kind of stark musical environment.
“If we’re lucky, we’ll get old and die” buzzily resurfaces as a refrain on the second track of the album, “Pointless Experience:” even when they are at their warmest Viet Cong is still icy and dark. This second track is a departure from the first in that it has some kind of instrumental and vocal variation: the song is fluid as opposed to static. The fuzz is still there, but intermittently as the vocals of Matt Flegel sink into their yelping norm.
Later on you get some more stars song on this album with “Continental Shelf,” and “Silhouettes,” which really pull your ears back to attention near the end and crack the mechanized atmosphere that has been building over each song. “Continental Shelf” is a dramatic tune and the guitar riffs that open the track bring you in from the moment it begins. The vocals are emotive, both when they shrieking along with the instrumentation or mumbling to the simmering beat. “Silhouettes” is the closest that Viet Cong gets to a dance track, as the electric guitars and synth fight to the death for the spotlight and the darkness seems to hang above the music instead of weighing it down.
While Viet Cong as a whole listens quite easily, some tracks are much more enticing than others, which becomes apparent on your third or fourth trip around the album. I find myself gravitating towards the more accessible tracks that are trimmed down: concision works for the darkness that this band brings, and I look forward to see what the future holds for them and their post-punk style.
After Viet Cong, made up of past members of Women, shared their lovely debut single, “Continental Shelf” from their upcoming record last year, the internet has been abuzz with praise and hype for what this band’s first album has in store. Following the enticing psychedelic power pop of that track, the band’s got another track from their forthcoming record to share with you and get you even more ready for the full record. This track has a little less of a Wolf Parade vibe and more of a straightforward rock and roll feel to it– the multilayered vocals dominate “Silhouettes” alongside the shredding psych’ed out guitar lines. Their debut self titled album is slated to come out in a few short weeks on January 20th via Jagjaguwar Records and you can pre-order it right here. You really don’t want to miss this track/band/album.