VIET CONG “Viet Cong” (Jagjaguwar)

Early on in the year we are presented with an album from Calgary based, art rock and at times noise act, Viet Cong. Matt Flegel, Mike Wallace, Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen did not contemplate too hard about the name of the band. Having being said on an interview, Matt states that they get various emails saying the their band’s name is “offensive” to many of our American veterans, but he just simply sees it as a thing that you should not get worked up about - plus the name sounds really refreshing. Deriving from post-punk act, Women and their unfortunate and saddening breakup (RIP Christopher Reimer), Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace decided to form Viet Cong in 2012. The band released a cassette that was only on sale at their first tour called, “Cassette” back in 2013, but did not get acclaim till late 2014 ending up in major hype for their following debut album. As many would think because of Women’s legacy and extremely big following from the underground realm that this new project is a continuation of them, but it indeed isn’t. I strongly believe that this is an introduction to Viet Cong’s creative sound.

Viet Cong take on songs that are at least 5-6 minutes long and even with their more ambitious track that’s 11 minutes , “Death.” It is intriguing to hear this band coming up with bold and crafty tracks. The noisy or not-so-great production takes this album into a sharp turn that is very pleasant to hear. The drumming on the whole album is outstanding and has a little bit of the math rock elements - I even enjoy what it seems to sound like a drum machine on the first track and some others. Many have commented on Youtube that Matt Flegel’s voice sounds like Paul Bank’s from Interpol, but I oppose to those comments completely. The guitar work throughout is wonderful and memorable, especially on “Continental Shelf.”

Viet Cong have put out one of the best post-punk records and it is only the beginning of the year and of course, the formation of the band. All the positive outcomes and exposure from this band are very well deserved.

Purchase (Cassette, LP or CD):


-Jesus Perez