Originally released as a tour-only cassette, Viet Cong's latest gets a vinyl and digital re-release on Mexican Summer. Made up of two members of Calgary's Women, Matt Flegel and Scott Munro, plus Daniel Christiansen and Michael Wallace, the band plays an eclectic style of rock that shifts between dark and gothic post-punk, mathy art rock and sunnier 60s garage-pop.
That variety makes the seven-track album seem much longer, but it also makes it hard to get a sense of what they're all about. A few songs have bright, crisp production, while a bunch in the middle - Oxygen Feed, Static Wall - get downright basement lo-fi. Throw It Away is jangly and angular, while Select Your Drone couldn't be more its opposite: unravelling into a, well, droney exercise in cool rhythmic groove. (Be sure to listen after what sounds like the end of the track: there's more.)
Restlessness and experimentation are the constants, so settle into it and go for the ride.
Top track: Select Your Drone