Preoccupations (FKA Viet Cong)

Sat Oct 29
The Independent
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Preoccupations (FKA Viet Cong)
Methyl Ethel

The band formerly known as Viet Cong have today announced their new name, moving forward they will be called 'Preoccupations'.

In a statement released today they said "After finishing our latest record and taking some time off, we are excited to announce that we will be performing and recording as "Preoccupations" going forward. We will be previewing new material from a forthcoming record in a series of festivals and shows in North America and Europe in the coming months. We apologize to those who were adversely affected by our former band name. This was never anticipated nor our intent. We are artists and not politicians, we understand that the name reflected pain to some individuals and we are happy to change it and move on and focus on our music. Thanks to all our friends and fans. See you all soon."

Preoccupations have been hard at work recording their new album which will be released this fall. The band will be playing a series of summer festivals including FYF and Sasquatch and are expected to debut some of the new material at these shows. All tour dates are listed below.


It takes less than sixty seconds of album opener "Newspaper Spoons" for you to decide that Viet Cong is a winter record. The album has barely begun, and the guitar doesn't snarl until the end of that opening minute, but it still presents a palpable iciness in just a few short moments. It's bitter. It stings. But once you're in it, and you're bracing yourself and charging ahead, "Newspaper Spoons" moves from a punishing, almost militarized drumbeat to a melody that's still menacing but also delicate, almost celestial.

That instinct for humanizing a stone-cold song is Viet Cong's greatest gift and sharpest weapon. It's harsh, but exhilarating. Themes of deconstruction and disintegration, of hardening and crumbling seem to come from every direction. But time and again, they are rescued by something—a little bit of humor, a cathartic moment, even a basic human goof. In fact, as the members of Viet Cong worked through the songs that make up this record, they erred on the side of keeping those moments that save Viet Cong from being overly mechanized.

The repetition throughout Viet Cong hypnotizes but it also softens, leaving a space that is deceptively personal. "Continental Shelf" orbits a thousand-watt hook with a thick crackle and a battering-ram drum line. It's so arresting that you barely notice it doesn't have a chorus, and then in comes a line like "if we're lucky we'll get old and die" and you can't believe Leonard Cohen (or Trent Reznor, or Nick Cave, or Sinatra) didn't get to it first. "Silhouettes" is a tripwire of a song, opening with an almost Joy Division-esque exposition and moving at breakneck speed - frantic and pitch-black at a thousand miles an hour - until before you know it they are howling. Actually howling, and maybe you are too.

You can designate records as seasonal, and you can feel Viet Cong's bleakness and declare it wintry. But the only way you get a frost is when there's something warmer to freeze up. So yes, Viet Cong is a winter album, but only until it is a spring record, then a summer scorcher, then an autumn burner, then it ices over again. They build these buildings, and they're built to break.

"Featuring members of the much-missed art-rock band Women, this Calgary quartet traverses a wide sonic range—from clenched-fist post-punk to Blade Runner-style instrumental passages—sometimes all within the same song." --Pitchfork



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