Comprised entirely of moody, droning, and fuzz-laden tunes, Viet Cong’s self-titled debut album should be funereal (at least it is on paper) – but upon listening, it reveals itself as a lively, inspired package. The jangly riffs on single “Silhouettes”, the shimmering synths on “March of Progress”, the comfortable melodies on the sprawling 11-minute closer “Death”; these small moments prevent this winter-time record from being an overwhelmingly and entirely bleak affair. It’s these sorts of small touches that helped build the sizable buzz around this Calgary-based quartet, especially after last year’s EP, Cassette. This band might not be the second coming of Joy Division (an influence and comparison that critics are quick to make), but this record should cement Viet Cong as an act wholly separate from the much-loved defunct act Women, in which core Cong members Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace used to play. After last week’s release of Dan Mangan + Blacksmith’s Club Meds, 2015 is already shaping up to be a great year for Canadian indie rock.
Viet Cong will play Toronto on January 31 at the Garrison, and several dates along Western Canada after the February European leg of their tour. Head to the band’s label, Flemish Eye, for dates and more info.