Viet Cong is a new project made up of four distinct voices. Matt Flegel and Scott Munro (respective former members of beloved Calgary band Women, and Chad VanGaalen’s band) spent much of 2013 in their basement studio with a mess of old and run-down equipment to build a set of fresh material. Joined by bandmates Daniel Christiansen and Michael Wallace, the band completed work on a debut cassette. What emerged from the studio was a mixture of sharply-angled rhythmic workouts and euphoric ‘60s garage pop melodies, balanced with a penchant for drone-y, VU-styled downer moments.
Opening track “Throw It Away” is tightly wound guitar pop, recalling the nervous urgency of The Feelies with its wiry guitar lines and ever-changing drum patterns, both of which are played with a dexterous sense of glee. “Oxygen Feed” is another stand-out, a gloriously sloppy sing-a-long couched with warm harmonies, and a charmingly ramshackle rhythm section befitting of its basement origins. Elsewhere, the band edge into harmony-laden, sublime pop heights (“Static Wall”), and Gothy post-punk (“Dark Entries”, “Select Your Drone”). As noted by Pitchfork in a recent “Rising” feature: “Viet Cong do many things, and they do it all very well”.
Simply titled “Cassette“, the former tour-only release retains its format-aware title for a vinyl and remastered digital release on Mexican Summer – out July 8th (US) / July 7th (UK).