Viet Cong: Cassette EP- Canadian-based Viet Cong seem to enjoy the implied ambiguity of their chosen titles- despite their (potentially controversial) name they are not a collection of Vietnamese Communists, and Viet Cong’s newest EP Cassette is available in digital MP3 format as well as vinyl, despite having originally released the EP as a tour-only cassette. Names aside, Cassette is a 7-track collection of garage pop; a quaint sampling of the musical potential Viet Cong has to offer. The band consists of former Women members Matt Flegel (vocals and bass), Mike Wallace (drums) in addition to guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen.
The first track and single off Cassette is ‘Throw It Away’, a fuzzed-out garage pop track that has the overtones of a clown carnival jingle sent through a post-punk ferris wheel. Its a catchy jam that is sure to spread (pun intended). ‘Unconscious Melody’, the second track, conjures an feeling of the pure angst of a voracious youth just beginning to figure out the intricacies of guitar – the naiveté executed in such a way it is merely an act, Viet Cong knows how to make great songs and they do it well.
‘Oxygen Feed’ is a fusion of the rough sounds of garage rock and the dreamy, idyllic tunes of the beach in summertime. ‘Static Wall’ sits in the catalytic seat on the EP, directly in the middle, in the crux between the beginning and end of the music. ‘Static Wall’ stands up to the pressure well, and carries through with a background acoustic guitar, some spacey synth effects and room to spare for echoed vocals from Matt Flegel.
‘Structureless Design’ is a Joy Division-She Wants Revenge sound alike, heavy on the bass and deep monotone lyrics that haunt over the instrumentals like a ghost through the mansion. The synths bring out the dark wave 80′s vibe subtly present throughout the track and at times the whole of Cassette itself.
Track six, ‘Dark Entries’ is a rough and tumble punk track invoking the rebellious sounds of the Circle Jerks. Matt Flegel’s vocals stand up to the fast aggressive pace of the drums and guitar in the tracks, a perfect complement to the sound, as his voice flows between the notes.
Cassette closes out with ‘Select Your Drone’, which slows down the pace dramatically, coming out of the rage of ‘Dark Entries’ prior. ‘Select Your Drone’ is a track to slowly separate the listener from the grip of the EP, its a slow release from a wild accumulation of garage pop, post-punk glory.
With Cassette, Viet Cong proves their ultimate potential for a future album (or many!). The band is playing throughout North America this summer, surely to be an amazing show!…7.7/10