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.

Record of the Month Club – January 2014

The Fraternal Auditory Illumination Society convened for what would be our inaugural coterie in January at Maier’s Laier. We toasted frosted brews and played many tunes.

Brother Muu brought two tasty growlers from local hops specialists, Societe Brewery.

On glass that night was Harlot and another, mystery brew.

Brother Dan offered his audiophile rig (Music Hall mmf 7, Outlaw RR2150 and Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1s) and it sounded in-crediballs!

We recorded audio for a potential future Podcast but need to work through some kinks before we unleash it on an unsuspecting public who probably don’t want another (or care for) podcast about music from music nerds.

(Spitballing in the digital void here) It’d be pretty rad to do something similar at the Whistle Stop once a month and have it curated by folks like JP, Tim Mays, M Theory, Off the Record, folks from Casbah, Soda Bar and Tin Can. It’d be like a Vinyl Social.

The only rule would be “vinyl only.”

No genre limitations. The more eclectic the better.

I gave Brother Dan the download from my vinyl edition of Women’s Public Strain.

Happy to report he loves it nearly as much as I do.

(RIP Christopher Reimer, you were gone too soon but what you left was magical. Friends/readers you can donate to the CR Fund at

Check out Women “Eyesore” live. Wish I could have seen them live.

Here are the tracks we played:

Seaweed “Service Deck”
Savages “City’s Full” and “She Will”
Chelsea Wolfe “Pale on Pale”
Fear “New York’s Alright”
Buy Contortions “Designed to Kill”
Women “China steps” “Venice Lockjaw”
Jawbox “reel”
Beefeater “Trash Funk” and “Reagonomix”
Bl’ast “Only Time Will Tell”
Abused “Drug Free Youth”
Mose Allison “New Parchman”
Hailu Mergia “Anchin Alay Alegn”
Pharaoh Sanders “Karma” b side
Goat “Run to Your Mama”
Peter Tosh “Get up Stand up” “Stepping Razor”
Polica “Very Cruel”
Wrestling worms “Intaglio”