Canadians can kick out the jams, man. In my world, their musical output surpasses any sports or alcoholic feat they've ever accomplished. I'm pleased to feature Viet Cong's debut LP as my first review of 2015.
Five years ago, I paid absolutely no attention to Women and now I'm going to track down all that I missed. Not that Women weren't heralded; they surely were, but not universally. I guess I was still deciding whether or not I could trust those who might have ears specifically for lo-fi trash, as if their fandom would cloud true criticism.
This is the first time I've heard the studio-as-instrument approach to post-punk since No Age's 'Everything In Between'. 'Viet Cong' shares many similarities to that album, especially regarding drum sonics. Viet Cong seems to go far beyond No Age's vision however, introducing a tapestry of elements, creating dreadful, urgent, hypnotic, emotional vignettes within most songs. The album clocks in at thirty-seven minutes but there is so much sound to consider that, upon first listen, it feels more like ninety. It's also curious that the vocals are stylistically akin to fellow Canadian, Spencer Krug.
Historically, the Viet Cong were a communist regime that the USA was certain it had to fight. That particular decision left a ton of psychological chaos in its' wake. It became a wound that has yet to heal and may never. 'Viet Cong' sets out to leave such an impression as that infamous conflict and succeeds at every turn. This album is a bona-fide classic, always to be remembered in the annals of post-punk. Good thing it's only January 'cause it's gonna take me the rest of the year to digest everything they've crammed into this beauty.
The Verdict: 4 Bedpans