Viet Cong -‘Viet Cong.’ (Jagjaguwar)
Before the release of this album, there were two tracks doing the rounds, and one of them was ‘Silhouettes.’ I bring this up as it’s a great track if not necessarily typical of the album as a whole.
Canadian band Viet Cong has been described as being post-punk, which they are in spirit, but it should be noted that their spiritual forebears are the uncompromising likes of Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle and PIL (without so much of the dub reggae of the latter). It is a very good album, and doesn’t take any prisoners. Right from the off, it grabs your attention with ‘Newspaper Spoons’ and holds your ears in its vice-like to the closing moments of ‘Death,’ which clocks in at over eleven minutes.
Post-punk was about exploring possibilities beyond what was perceived as the ultimate limitations of punk. It’s perhaps a mixed blessing that it’s utterly conceivable that this record could have come out in 1979, but the ultimate thumbs-up is that it would be a challenging but rewarding listen in ’79 or 2015.
Viet Cong is out now on Jagjaguwar.