Viet Cong – Cassette



Mexican Summer

Listen at Viet Cong – “Cassette”

After the tragic and untimely death of Christopher Reimer (isn’t death always untimely?), ex-Women members, bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel drummer Mike Wallace formed Vietcong in 2012 with guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen. Is it difficult to outrun the shadow of your former selves? Maybe the best solution is merely to stand a few feet ahead of the shadow, one eye on the future/present and a toe in the past. On Cassette, Vietcong manage to escape the velocity of their previous band, Women while remaining in geosynchronous orbit of their criminally overlooked underappreciated former band.

Cassette maintains a meticulous attention to dissonance, noise and abrasiveness coupled with a healthy respect for post-punk standard bearers like Chairs Missing-era Wire and the more experimental songs of Joy Division; “Atrocity Exhibition” and “Decades” pop up on the simil-o-meter. Rather than derivation, the band comfortably iterates on previously chartered themes.

On “Oxygen Feed” traces of Velvet Underground DNA weave throughout the song’s chorus.

The final track, “Select Your Drone” is a trip into a Wendy Carlos-inspired ocean of synth. A staccato heartbeat drives the song forward in half-time, accompanied by biting angular guitar stabs (fuck that description in it’s music journalist butthole). This is one of the more interesting tracks on the record as it recalls at times the more somber work of long time David Lynch collaborator, Angelo Badalamenti

If you think a Vantablack pair of 511’s would fit well in your wardrobe and may or may not have at one time owned a vintage type writer you used to punch out DMT-fueled prose, then this album would be a nice compliment to your expanding collection of sonic ephemera. If you like Velvet Underground, Joy Division and the occasional dalliance with Burroughs’ epic Western Lands trilogy, pick up a copy to soundtrack your silent existential crisis at your local record store.

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats “Mind Crawler”

Joe T of MoonlightSpeed Press turned me on to this band when I saw him in Denver last weekend. Uncle Acid takes all the good things about Pentagram, Black Sabbath, seventies Grind House and exploitation films and stuffs it into a tasty, lysergic-tinged sack of modern-vintage metal doom.

I don’t know precisely what that means but it makes precise sense if you listen to their latest album (streaming for free on Amazon’s new Mp3 store). Unfortunately the damn vinyl is out of stock. I’m going to be calling around to see if I can locate a copy. Meanwhile, put this in your headspace and let it do its black magic.

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats “Mind Crawler”

Weatherbox “Pagan Baby” – Live at Braund

Summer heat makes the blood run hot.

That’s when you switch from “craft beer” to something in a can that comes in a six or twelve pack, not a bomber or four pack.

Hang up the sultry spring albums and bring out the records that sound great in a car without A/C.

Weatherbox season. Half-pipes and fun-boxes and never-landed kickflip varials. Frustratingly fun, even for my old bones.

Brian Warren. Dudes’ been writing hit songs for years in the criminally overlooked, under-appreciated Weatherbox for years. Lyrics are top notch too.

They’re new record Flies in All Directions was released this year from Triple Crown Records.

Standout tracks:

Pagan Baby

Kick-flips, with a nod to the refrain, “My Body is a Bomb.” Undeniably catchy.

These New Puritans “Fragment Two”

Space and melody.

This band continually astonishes me.

Their album “Hidden” is one of my favorites of the last decade.

In that it they expand upon preconceived notions of composed music, resisting the need to immediately satisfy with an easily identifiable hook.

An elastic expression of sound. Music for music.

In my estimation, TNP are beyond the outer reaches, demolishing expectations.

I’ll do a cheap Music Journo thing here and hyperbolize: TNP be doing Radiohead better than Radiohead.

Wovenhand “Field of Hedon” – from Refractory Obdurate

16 Horsepower was a mythical band when I lived on Capitol Hill in Denver, CO. Story goes, they lived in Leadville, an old mining town, just on the other side of the ski resort, Copper Mountain. They lived in a house on a few acres, made their own whiskey, brewed their own beer. Hunted game. Deer and fowl. They made the kind of music that wasn’t easily identifable, except to say it was uniquely Rocky Mountain or “Colorado” with the constant being the voice of principal songwriter, guitarist-vocalist and arranger, David Eugene Edwards.

Two decades later, Edwards and his now-established musical incarnation, Wovenhand has released their seventh studio record, Refractory Obdurate, on Deathwish Inc (home of Converge, Deafheaven, Oathbreaker, etc). Former members Chuck French and Neil Keener of the post-hardcore band, Planes Mistaken for Stars, are now part of Wovenhand with Neil on bass and Chuck on guitar.

If someone told me there’d be a band that slightly resembles the conceptual (musical) DNA of McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and hauntingly reflects the ghost town’s of the rocky mountains, I’d call that man a liar and fill him with lead–then I’d hang my head in shame as I dropped the needle on the latest from Wovenhand.


Nothing “Bent Nail” – Video

Philly-based shoe-gaze band, NOTHING recently released the video for their song, “Bent Nail.” 

Situated somewhere between the milky drone sweetness of Mescal Head-era, Swervedriver and the lush ambience of The Jesus and Mary Chain, NOTHING makes new the sound that launched a thousand delay drenched songs. It would seem, from their pummeling rhythm section, that the band has a healthy dose of Black Flag in their DNA as well.

They’ll be playing the Soda Bar May 27. Check em out.