Last week, I missed Viet Cong playing at Montreal’s Ritz PDB to a sold out crowd. I wish I hadn’t.

That day, I had just started listening to their new self-titled album, and I haven’t stopped since then. This band hails from Calgary and I got to see half of their members at a Women show in 2010. Women was an experimental rock band which I really enjoyed, until the band broke up with a fight at the end of one of their shows that same year, and then to put a nail in their coffin, in February 2012, their guitarist and sometimes-lead singer Christopher Reimer passed away in his sleep at the tender age of 26.

So, the remaining members, Matthew Flegel (vocals/bass) and Michael Wallace (drums) formed the band Viet Cong in 2012 with guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen. Then, they released the brilliant 4-song EP “Cassette” and played SXSW: their sound was slightly more approachable than Women’s and but had also gained in complexity. In this first full length, eponymous album, we recognize some of their former signature riffs and discordant harmonies. Their first single, Continental Shelf is rife with rhythmic shifts, and sound like it could be three Interpol songs melded into one.

Overall, the album has only seven songs, but each one packs a different punch, with carefully crafted labyrinth-like songs. From the icy Joy Divisionesque excursions (Silhouettes) to melodic hooks (Bunker Buster) to howling post-punk fury (Death). This album is never going to be a mainstream success, but personally, I find this kind of adventurous songwriting hugely exciting.


Viet Cong
(Jagjaguwar, 2015)

– Genre: labyrinthine indie rock
– Sound like: Women, Joy Division, Guided by Voices

Buy it on iTunes
Listen on Spotify
Jagjaguwar’s YouTube

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About The Author

Collaborator - RREVERB

Julie was born from a trumpeter dad and a drummer mum with music written in her DNA. She is from this generation that went from listening to vinyl, to creating mixtapes on cassettes, to splurging her early savings on a CD player, to discovering Napster, the iPod and so on... In 2005 she took part in the launch of Radiolibre, Quebec's first music streaming service and in 2006 started, a francophone MP3 store. She spent 10 years looking after over 80 Canadian radio websites and has a ticket stub diary of over 300 shows.