vietcong

As a band that seems so down on life, Viet Cong’s debut album could easily be a dragging bore, but it’s not. There’s no point to anything, and the Canadian four-piece appear borderline obsessed with futility – a mood matched by their mix of piercing guitars, industrial thunder drums, metallic sound collages and overall cold, cold sound.

There are black gags to be had also, though, and the cry of “If we’re lucky we’ll get old and die”, on the tightly-wound, joyously doom ‘Pointless Experience’, single handedly rebukes the idea that we should all just kill ourselves now. In such a moment, Viet Cong come across more like Interpol or Cold Cave (on the other ‘pop’ moment, ‘Silhouettes’, too) – a band toying with the macabre for effect, rather than one of real life depressives.

Similarly, they wait for the danceable close of ‘March of Progress’ to remind us, “we build the buildings and they’re built to break”, far beyond the celestial/mechanical verses reminiscent of The Beatles’ ‘Because’. It’s a trick (of restrain meets abandon) repeated on the final track, called ‘Death’, of course.

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