Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Album Review by Chris Cusack | 08 Jan 2015
  • Viet Cong – Viet Cong
Album title: Viet Cong
Artist: Viet Cong
Label: Jagjaguwar / Flemish Eye
Release date: 19 Jan

The kind of piss and vinegar that brought a band like Women together was unlikely to just evaporate, despite guitarist Christopher Reimer's untimely death in 2012. Happily, Canadian no wave battering ram Viet Cong features two thirds of the remaining members on vigorous form.

In a fatuous era such as ours, with Urban Outfitters and its cavernous bowels of aspirational lifestyle-retail ranked no.1 for UK vinyl sales, it's not uncommon to hear kitsch, lacklustre bursts of faux-90s alternarock minced through four-figure ProTools plug-ins, attempting to sound like teenagers recording J Mascis riffs on a walkman.

Mercifully, while Viet Cong break little fresh ground with this debut LP, their caustic post-punk does manage to reference the better acts of that era, like Unwound and Arcwelder, throwing in whiffs of Liars and some compelling lo-fi electronica. Viet Cong is a solid, admirable distillation of early 90s US indie that dares to throw in some rewarding ideas of its own, proving that "retro" need not always be a cuss word. 

Playing Manchester Deaf Institute on 5 Feb and Glasgow Broadcast on 6 Feb http://vietcong.bandcamp.com