Although they officially formed in 2012 and are comprised of Matt Flegel (bass, vocals), Scott Munro (guitar), Daniel Christiansen (guitar) and Mike Wallace (drums), the up-and-coming Calgary, Alberta-based post-punk/indie rock quartet of Viet Cong can trace their origins to 2010 when Fiegel and Wallace’s previous band Women entered an indefinite hiatus after an onstage fight.
After Women’s guitarist Christopher Reimer’s death in 2012, Women officially broke up and following that, Flegal decided to form a new band recruiting Munro, who was the touring guitarist for Chad VanGaalen,his former bandmate Wallace and Daniel Christiansen, who played in a Black Sabbath cover band with several members of Women.
On the strength of a cassette effort the band released in 2013, which was only available to purchase on tour, the Canadian quartet played at last year’s SXSW and the the 4 Knots Festival, and as a natural result they began to capture the attention of the blogosphere. In fact, the release of the “Continental Shelf,” the first single off the band’s soon-to-be released self-titled debut full-length effort had several major blogs consider the album highly-anticiapted. And with the release of “Silhouettes,” the second single off the album, I can see why: Viet Cong’s sound is moody, stormy, claustrophobic and deeply anxious. Interestingly, as the band’s Matt Flegel has mentioned in an interview T Magazine, the song contains the most directly autobiographical lyrics on the entire album as it was heavily influenced by the time Flegel played a show and wound up getting electrocuted – and at one point, he was fearful that he’d suffer permanent hearing loss. Naturally, Flegel spent a period of time being incredibly anxious and it’s there in the song.
But sonically, at least on this track, the quartet’s sound bears an uncanny resemblance to Turn On the Bright Lights-era Interpol — dark, seductive, uneasy and capturing its surroundings. In other words, you’ll hear layers of angular and slashing guitars, four-on-the-floor drums, lyrics sung with an equally ironic detachment and earnestness paired in this case with dramatic synths.
The official video directed by Brook Linder is heavily inspired by both 70s and 80s sci-fi and horror movies in postmodern mashup that accurately conveys the anxiety and dread at the heart of the song.