Born from the ashes of acclaimed noise-rock band Women, Calgary quartet Viet Cong is a veritable post-punk smorgasbord. Their self-titled debut LP essentially serves as a history lesson for the genre, gathering sounds from such disparate eras as the revival/dance-punk explosion of the early 2000s and the cold, clanging chaos of early ‘80s no wave. While it’d be easy to reduce the band’s work to mere pastiche, Viet Cong nonetheless prove themselves more than a one-trick tribute act thanks to the raucous, unbridled energy they bring to every concoction. “Pointless Experience” and “Silhouettes” flawlessly recreate early Interpol, while doubling down on downright incisive guitar tones. The album’s showstopper, “March of Progress,” conjures up a gorgeous cacophony strongly indebted to This Heat, before transitioning into an unexpectedly joyous and blissful finale. Say what you will about Viet Cong’s strict adherence to fidelity; not since Iceage stormed onto the scene has a band so seamlessly and powerfully replicated a bygone era.
Trial Track: “March of Progress”