Song of the Day: Viet Cong - Silhouettes

Song of the Day
02/16/2015
Gerrit Feenstra
photo by Colin Way

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is "Silhouettes" by Calgary post-punk group Viet Cong from their 2014 self-titled debut on Jagjaguwar.

Viet Cong - Silhouettes (MP3)

Viet Cong formed out of the ashes of Calgary rock group Women a couple years ago, bring bassist Matt Flagel's vocal prowess to the front and center, putting Mike Wallace on set of drums that he makes feel absolutely infinite on this record, and joined by Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen (also formerly in Women). The result is a group that feels and sounds like it will outlast its predecessor in every way. Between the band's debut EP on Mexican Summer and last year's debut full-length on Jagjaguwar, not a single Viet Cong track is wasted - every single one makes a unique and individually massive statement. Fronting the new wave of post-punk revivalists with peers like Total Control and Weekend, Viet Cong are a fury not to be trifled with.

"Silhouettes" wastes no time beating around the bush - starts and ends at breakneck speed, blasting through a post-punk masterpiece in pristine form. The sounds Viet Cong captures here are too many to number, but the primary name drops are all ones you don't want to use lightly. You hear Joy Division of course - it's soaked into the drums and the interpolating guitars and bass throughout. But listen deeper, especially at the instrumental bridge, and you hear bits of Bauhaus and Echo & the Bunnymen in the psychedelic darkness before the synthesizers come back in and shoot bright light into the chorus. Here on "Silhouettes", Matt Flagel's haunting, fiery monotone seems echoes like an omen, completely overbearing in the most inviting way possible. This track finds itself among the album's best and will no doubt be a live favorite.

Viet Cong will start touring at the end of this month and will perform LIVE on KEXP on March 3rd at 11AM. They'll return to Seattle and perform at Barboza on March 27. Find out more dates and more music on their Facebook page, and check out the official video for "Silhouettes", chock full of b-movie glory, below.

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