This is the first record under a new name for the band formerly known as Viet Cong. The Canadian post-punk troupe are already known for a diversity of approach, having grown from a garagey debut EP to remarkable first LP that was somehow more abrasively experimental and more pleasantly melodic, and which was subject to no shortage of wholly justifiable praise.
This second self-titled record in a row again turn to ’70s post-punk for inspiration but with minor tweaks to their areas of concentration. They veer towards the later part of the decade and a more synth-oriented sound. And while anxiety and doom still pervade, especially when the band allows itself the space to stretch it out (like on the eleven minute Memory) some of the venom that characterised their best work has been rolled back in favor of a slinkier, less violent or caustic sound.
On occasion Frontman Matt Flegel’s vocals even flirt with something almost resembling a croon. There’s more to post-punk than just making ears bleed though, and thankfully this is still very much the sound of a band pushing the envelope. We can only hope they don’t let up anytime soon.
Like This? Try These:
Wire – Chair Missing
Bitchin Bajas – Krausened EP
Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights
Words: Danny Wilson