Immediately apparent from the pounding, static-driven opening song, “Newspaper Spoons,” Calgary four-piece Viet Cong make it loud and clear that it’s are nothing like any of the band’s previous musical projects (ie, the sadly defunct group Women). In fact, Viet Cong’s self-titled debut album is also sonically different than the band’s jangly tour-only tape, aptly named Cassette. Viet Cong is a vigorous campaign through a thick, fluctuating miasma of unsettling anxiety and aggression.
The album plays through extended stretches of crudely calculated noise: a boisterous and often melodic post-punk machine that runs urgently even during its more pronounced moments. The sticky cohesiveness is not easily defined: Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen’s tinny, squealing guitars play off of each other, loosely bandaged together by Matt Flegel’s steady bass and howling vocals but ripped apart again by Mike Wallace’s menacing drums. Viet Cong are never linear or afraid of being too noisy, which can be off-putting to the unsuspecting, but it’s what makes its debut compellingly unpredictable in its short, seven-song, 37-minute run time.