These guys are almost here, I promise. The anticipation for their debut album brings to light one simple truth: Viet Cong know how to build hype the right way. A strong EP, quite a few scorching singles, and most importantly, quality music have the collective music world drooling for their album. “Continental Shelf” was released in October, but its video was released yesterday. The video features haunting macabre imagery with the occasional cut to chill-wave inspired footage of the ocean. Like the song itself, the video is quite jarring. When describing the song to a friend, I related it to him by simply saying “Imagine if Surfer Blood were really, really angry and a little scary.” That seemed to do the trick. The west coast stomp is there, as well as the monolithic guitar riffs lumbering a long like most surf-rock does these days. However, the sunny reverberation on the electric guitar has been swapped with an dark lo-fi hiss, and lead vocalist Matt Flegel could teach a university class on mastering the post-punk howl. It all ads up to a bizarre yet ultimately catchy experience definitely worth a view and a listen.
- Garrett Cottingham
Deerhoof compliments one of the most unsettling and noisy tunes on their latest record with a strange video about interconnectedness. We seem to have a few twin-like characters who share pain in the same way a one-way street shares traffic. Whatever happens to one seems to impact the other, and in really weird ways, too.
I was starting to wonder if this series of events was more metaphorical than literal, but then the video went off the deep end as guitarist Ed Rodriguez busts through a wall looking like a member of the Ramones as he sends sparks from his guitar’s pickups.
As confusing as it may be, it’s still pretty awesome. Oh, hey, just like the band itself. Woah! Mind blown, man! Check out a review of Deerhoof’s latest album here. Also, kudos to director Vice Cooler.
Indie-rock duo The Dodos have had a nice little trajectory, breaking through with their second record, Visiter, and following that up with nicely produced variations on their themes, with slightly hit-or-miss results: 2009′s Time to Die was a little forgettable, while 2011′s No Color was sharp and vibrant. On last year’s Carrier, The Dodos showed a slightly mellower, more contemplative side–especially since much of it was based on how the pair felt in the wake of the death of a friend. But now they’re back with their sixth record, Individ, due out next year, and the first single to be dropped from it a cool Dodos-style rocker. Kicking off with a deep, quick drum beat, the song already sounds like an insistent breath of fresh air coming after Carrier‘s more muted tones. The song still lacks a little bit of frontman Meric Long’s oft-incredible guitar work–just check out older tunes like “Jodi” and “Paint the Rust”–but it’s a splendid tasting of what the album could offer. There was a time when The Dodos were both thoughtful and fun, and it looks like they could be headed back there.
Individ is out Jan 27, via Polyvinyl.
New York’s Parquet Courts–or Parkay Quarts as it is stylized here–have a somewhat spotty past with me. While I really dug 2012′s Light Up Gold, I felt left out in the cold on their last record, Sunbathing Animal. But because I’m a fan of Andrew Savage, the band’s deep-voiced frontman, I’m still interested in seeing if the Parkay can top its previous material.
With “Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth,” they’re off to a good start. It’s a long, dreary slow-burner, which there were a few of on Sunbathing Animal, but Savage has obviously upped his lyrical game here. He indulges in some Dylan-esque poetic abstractions while delivering them in a Lou Reed-style apathy. It actually keeps the track engaging as the band performs a simple, downtrodden instrumental that fuses lo-fi indie rock with alt-country.
Look for Parkay Quarts next album, Content Nausea, to be released via What’s Your Rupture? on November 11th.
DFA 1979 returns with a likable followup to their debut full-length.
Few musical comebacks have been as hotly anticipated as Death From Above 1979′s. A few years after the Ontario duo’s electrifying debut album dropped, they splintered and began working on other projects instead. I vividly remember being disappointed upon first hearing this news, because You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine left such a strong impression on me–and most of the independent rock world, too.
To hear that Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler were getting the band back together a few months ago was exciting, and it’s tracks like “Government Trash” that make it feel like the hiatus never happened. The track’s riffs are the sonic equivalent to an adrenaline shot, and the vocals could be more on point, too!
Look for The Physical World on September 9th via Last Gang Records.
Previously loved UK art pop outfit Alt-J drops yet another song from their forthcoming LP, This Is All Yours. The release date: September 22nd via Infectious.
Unlike the previously released songs off this new album, “Every Other Freckle” seems to be more in line with Alt-J’s previous output. There’s a heavy bassline matched with some equally lumbering drum beats, and atop that are the odd, soulful vocals of guitarist-vocalist Joe Newman.
The hook is great, and as the song progresses, the band manages to build the intensity up with more percussive and melodic layers. Alt-J writes catchy, upfront tracks, but their refined approach to arranging their instrumentation is what continues to keep them interesting.
Once again, Spoon comes through with a solid, catchy, enjoyable rock record.