Once upon a time there was a four-piece band from Calgary called Women. They released two fantastic, critically acclaimed albums; the second, Public Strain, is one of my personal favorites of this entire decade. And then everything fell apart in a very ugly break up, made worse by the fact that it all went down on stage during a concert. Since then, guitarist and sampler Chris Reimer died, Patrick Flegel started the excellent duo Androgynous Mind, and his brother Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace formed Viet Cong. It says something about the talent of all the members of Women that neither of these new bands sound like side projects but rather the beginnings of something just as exciting. It’s still early for these bands, but Viet Cong’s new demo “Bunker Buster” is an absolute stunner. From the moment the song hits the half-minute mark and those iconic slanted guitars creep in, you know something special is happening. The band begins working over a hypnotic groove, breaking away from it as they see fit to experiment with wildly different hooks, dissonant breaks, and gentler passages. Yet they always lock back into that tense, anxious groove that made their previous band iconic. It’s unbelievably satisfying to hear that sound again and exciting to hear what they’ll be working on in the future. Listen to it.
Viet Cong are expected to have their debut album out via Mexican Summer this year.