Year of Release: 2015
On last year's Cassette, Viet Cong cranked out slabs of labyrinthine post-punk by layering euphoric harmonies, synth-driven instrumental suites, and frayed guitar work over singer/bassist Matt Flegel's monotone drawl. On their latest self-titled LP, the four-piece; which also includes Mike Wallace (from now defunct Calvary outfit Women, along with Flegel), Scott Munro (from Chad VanGaalen's band), and guitarist Daniel Christiansen, have concocted something that takes the basement-dwelling lo-fi aesthetic of Cassette and blows it up to near ecstatic levels of sonic brilliance. There's still plenty of frenzied guitar lines and keyboard-heavy instrumental passages, but Viet Cong also get into some Joy Division and Guided By Voices worship here, especially on tracks like the dancey "Silhouettes" and the moody, echo-chambered dirge "Continental Shelf." Viet Cong is a record that's both atonal and approachable, challenging and accessible; and more importantly, it actually has songs to go with all the feedback-drenched noise.