Michael Gira Will Eventually Die(?), So At Least We Have Viet Cong
Viet Cong - 2015
There are only three things certain in life in 2015: Death, Taxes, and Swans constantly delivering great records. The monolithic noise and post rock band that doubles as the most hauntingly beautiful band in the world has arguably never put out a bad album, and I consider Cop, Children Of God, The Great Annihilator, Soundtracks For The Blind, The Seer, and To Be Kind to all be landmark records for rock music as a whole. But, all great things must come to an end. One day, Michael Gira will hang up his cowboy hat, and we'll only have reissues and bootlegs to keep our primal rock instincts alive. This is what I thought before I heard Viet Cong, the best fusion of gorgeous and pummeling post punk this side of Gira and co. You can hear it on the record's opener, "Newspaper Spoons", equipped with nothing but heavy, industrial drums and the reverbed voice of frontman Matt Flegel. You can hear it on the first single "Silouettes", which would've just been a heavy punk number if not for the keys and synths. But you can hear it the most in the final cut, "Death", 11 minutes long, and when it hits its peak, the similarities to To Be Kind centerpiece "Bring The Sun / Toissant L'Overture", a pounding, nearly stangnat droning pace for nearly three minutes of the final song. Swans has been around for four decades, churning out powerful, heavy rock albums in the bands entirety. We might be saying the same thing about Viet Cong in 2040.
GENRES: NOISE ROCK, POST-PUNK, EXPERIMENTAL ROCK, INDUSTRIAL ROCK