Viet Cong: Self-Titled Album
Viet Cong — Viet Cong
Release Date: Jan. 20
Our Rating: 4.8/5
Spec Recs: “March of Progress,” “Continental Shelf,” “Death”
In One Word: Remarkable
Viet Cong’s new self-titled album, out Jan. 20 on Jagjaguwar, showcases the tremendous change the band has gone through in just a few short months. Back in July, the members released their Cassette EP, which introduced the band’s vast potential, presenting a musical style that ranged from 60’s psychedelic pop to a more industrial, experimental sound that finished out the album. The release left listeners excited about where this band could take them but also curious about which avenue it would be down. Would they opt for the more radio-friendly psychedelic pop that seemed to be making a generous comeback in recent years? Or would they delve into obscurity with heavily electronic-experimental noises that many people don’t regard as music? Luckily for fans of the band, they came to a third conclusion, realizing that they weren’t standing at a fork in the road and instead, melded the two sounds into a single one, producing an amazing album. What they have produced sounds like the natural evolution of psychedelic and alternative music, the next rung of its life cycle.
From tracks like “Newspaper Spoons” and “March of Progress,” which start in dark industrial noises and looping beats and then move into more recognizably harmonic sections, to tracks like “Continental Shelf” or “Bunker Buster,” where the line between the two distinct sound types have been blurred beyond recognition, this album steps boldly into new musical territory for both the band and the genre. The monolith “Death,” which finishes the album perfectly with its transitions from the standard song type to a draining deluge of gradually slowing breakdown, leads back into a final contemplation of the new direction before crashing out, leaving the listener in the rubble of their new expression.
This album is a huge step forward for Viet Cong, and should they continue to produce amazing mixtures of genre and influence, they may go on to revolutionize the face of rock music.
Viet Cong will be performing in Phoenix on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at the Pub Rock Live. Tickets, $10-$12, are available through Ticketfly. Doors open at 7:30 P.M. and the all-ages show starts at 8 P.M..