Tag: Viet Cong

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ultrviolence Return with the Stark and Lonely Visuals for New Single “Guillotine”

Throughout their history together, the Calgary, AB-based indie rock/darkwave/New Wave/post-punk act Ultrviolence have developed a reputation for adhering to old-school DIY principles and for frequently ignoring the clichés and dictates of the music industry machine. And over the past couple of years, the band has caught the attention of the blogosphere — and in particular this site, for a sound that seemingly draws from Joy Division, Interpol, Viet Cong and others.

Since the release of last year’s Black Sea EP, the band has gone through a massive lineup change with Nate Jespersen (vocals, bass), the sole founding member, collaborating with several members of Vancouver, BC-based indie rock band ACTORS. Produced by ACTORS’ Jason Corbett, the project’s much-anticipated follow-up to Black Sea EP, Forty Knives EP finds Jespersen and the band’s new lineup building upon the moody, post-punk sound that first caught the attention of this site and the blogosphere while thematically evoking the dark and seemingly unending solitude that arises when one allows themselves to be completely isolated from the world.

“Guillotine,” Forty Knives’ first single is a hauntingly moody and atmospheric track, which finds the band pairing jangling guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal, shimmering synth chords, a propulsive bass line and a metronomic-like drumming paired with Jespersen’s equally moody baritone vocals. Interestingly, with my 38th birthday being yesterday, this particular song evokes something profoundly familiar — the lingering and embittering ghosts and ill-feelings of a particularly dysfunctional and/or ambivalent relationship; the awareness of time passing by and of the built-in regret that you’ve squandered the most valuable and important commodity you’ll ever know — time; and that feeling of stepping away from the wreckage of a lengthy relationship and not quite knowing what to do next or how to even go about it. And as a result, the song possesses a visceral ache.

The recently released video for the song nods at Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and INXS’ “Need You Tonight”/”Mediate” as the video features a man on the side of the road, holding cardboard signs with the song’s lyrics; however, this man is hitchhiking with a sense of desperate urgency.

Initially began under the name Viet Cong, the Calgary, Alberta-based quartet Preoccupations can trace their origins to an extremely complicated six degrees of musical and personal separation as the band is comprised of two childhood friends, Matt Flegel (bass, vocals) and Mike Wallace (bass), who also were once members of Women;  Scott Munro (guitar) and Flegel were once members of Chad VanGaalen’s backing band — and while on tour with VanGaalen they had frequently discussed collaborating on a project together; and lastly, Daniel Christiansen (guitar) had once played in a Black Sabbath cover band with Siegel, Wallace,  and other members of Women.

Throughout 2015, as the band was still named Viet Cong, the members of the band unwittingly found themselves in the midst of an ongoing conversation about cultural appropriate and questions about associating oneself with names that evoke the horrors of fascism, terrorism, brutality, war, etc.  And naturally, as a result of the surrounding controversy, the members of the band decided that a name change was absolutely necessary and after some reflection and consideration, they announced that they would now be known as Preoccupations. Interestingly, as the band mentioned in press notes, when they reconvened to write the material that would eventually comprise their self-titled effort as Preoccupations, they had found themselves in a rather unsteady and uncertain state. Years-long relationships had ended and the members of the band all relocated to different cities, which made their long-held creative process of using the experiences of the road to inspire their writing extremely difficult. And when the band entered the studio without a having a central idea to consider or to guide their writing process, each member of the Calgary-based quartet recognized that for this effort, they were all about to take a collective leap of faith in which they at least had each other — and in many ways the material on the album captures the band in profound transition and feeling their way out of it as best as they could.

Interestingly, as the band’s frontman Matt Flegel explained in press notes, the album’s material draws from very specific things — the sort of things that has most people up all night, fraught with anxiety and despair. The album’s first single “Anxiety,” is as Flegel explained about the the process of natural and forced change upon the band, while on another level, the song captures the uncertain and uneasy push and pull of human relationships, including the bitterness, regret, ambivalence, frustration and self-doubt they engender. Sonically, the song possesses a subtly atmospheric sheen while further cementing their reputation for crafting tense and angular post punk that draws from Joy Division and others.

The self-titled album’s second single “Degraded” pairs their tense and angular song with what may arguably be the possess the most straightforward and hook-friendly song structure they’ve written to date; however, the song lyrically reveals itself to be full of bilious accusation and recrimination, ill-feeling and seems to evoke a relationship slowly splintering at its core, complete with the realization that as a result the relationship will be irrevocably altered; but simultaneously being a plaintive and urgent plea for understanding, for forgiveness, for the dysfunctional train ride to just stop.  Sonically, the band employs synths to give their already tense material a subtle atmospheric feel much like “Anxiety;” however, the album’s latest single pushes that feeling of anxiety outward so that it becomes an enveloping fog.

 

The band is in the middle of a lengthy world tour, which includes a second New York area stop at Warsaw in October. Check out the tour dates below.

World Tour Dates

08.21.16 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX *

08.22.16 – Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX *

08.24.16 – Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX *

08.28.16 – FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA

08.29.16 – Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA *

08.30.16 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA *

09.01.16 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR *

09.02.16 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR *

09.28.16 – The Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC

10.01.16 – Mac Hall Ballroom – Calgary, AB ^

10.03.16 – WECC – Winnipeg, MB ^

10.04.16 – Fine Line Music Cafe – Minneapolis, Mn ^

10.05.16 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, Il ^

10.07.16 – Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, Mi ^

10.08.16 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON ^

10.11.16   Virgin Mobile Corona Theater   Montreal, QC ^

10.12.16 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, Ma ^

10.14.16 – Warsaw – Brooklyn NY ^

10.15.16 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, Pa ^

10.16.16 – Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington DC ^

10.18.16 – Masquerade – Atlanta, Ga ^

10.19.16 – Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, La ^

10.21.16 – The Mohawk – Austin, Tx ^

10.25.16 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, Az ^

10.26.16 – The Irenic – San Diego, Ca ^

10.28.16 – The Roxy – Los Angeles, Ca ^

10.29.16 – The Independent – San Francisco, Ca

11.02.16 – Neumos – Seattle, Wa ^

11.05.15 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK

11.06.16 – Gorilla – Manchester, UK

11.07.16 – Oval Space – London, UK

11.08.16 – Exchange – Bristol, UK

11.09.16 – The Haunt – Brighton, UK

11.10.16 – Le Guess Who Festival – Utrecht, NL

11.12.16 – Botanique – Brussels, BE

11.14.16 – Pumpehuset – Copenhagen, DK

11.15.16 – Molotow – Hamburg, DE

11.18.16 – Musiques Volantes Festival – Metz, FR

11.21.16 – La Laiterie – Strasbourg, FR

11.22.16 – Klaus – Zurich, CH

11.23.16 – Magnolia – Milan, IT

11.24.16 – Quirinetta – Rome, IT

11.25.16 – Locomotiv –  Bologna, IT

11.26.16 – Suprette Festival – Neuchatel, CH

11.28.16 – Luxor – Cologne, DE

^ w/ Methyl Ethel

* w/ Explosions In The Sky

 

 

 

Comprised of Nate J. (vocals, bass), Ali Abbas (guitar) and Kirk Power (drums), Calgary, AB-based post-punk/darkwave/chillwave trio Ultrviolence have quickly developed a reputation for a moody, post-punk sound that’s indebted to Joy Division, New OrderInterpol, Viet Cong and others and for adhering to the sort of DIY principles that led them to ignore the clichés and dictates of the major recording industry machine. Now over the past couple of months the Canadian post-punk trio have become one of my new favorites as I’ve written about “Better Learn How to Swim,” and “Radiation,”  the first two singles off the Canadian  trio’s soon-to-be released EP Black Sea; in fact, both singles manage to remind me quite a bit of Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol — in particular, I think of “Untitled,” “NYC” and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down.”

Much like “Radiation,” “Untitled,” will further cement the trio’s reputation for moody and angular post-punk with anthemic hooks — but while arguably being the most propulsive and forceful songs they’ve released to date.

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, I wrote about Calgary, AB-based indie rock/darkwave/New Wave/post-punk trio Ultrviolence. Comprised of Nate J. (vocals, bass), Ali Abbas (guitar) and Kirk Power (drums), the Canadian trio have quickly developed a reputation for a moody post-punk sound that’s reminiscent of contemporary acts like Interpol, Viet Cong and others, and for adhering to DIY principles as they’ve played in countless basements and tiny clubs across the continent, using battered instruments and battered instruments and ignoring the cliches and dictates of the recording industry machine. Now you might recall that i wrote about “Better Learn How to Swim,” a moody yet swooningly Romantic song off their forthcoming Black Sea EP that manages to be reminiscent of Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol — in particular, I think of “Untitled,” “NYC” and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” — as the band pairs a sinuous bass line, angular and shimmering guitar chords and an dramatic, anthemic hook with Nate J’s aching baritone.

Black Sea‘s latest and single ” Radiation” will further cement the Canadian trio’s burgeoning reputation for crating dark and moody post-punk/New Wave/darkwave-leaning rock while gently expanding upon the sound that initially captured my attention — the band pairs Nate J’s expressive and yearning baritone with ethereal synths, shimmering guitar chords played through copious reverb, and a driving rhythm consisting of four-on-the-floor drumming and propulsive bass chords. Sonically, the new single manages to clearly draw influence from the likes of the aforementioned Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol, Joy Division and New Order — but with as subtle twist on a familiar sound.

Earlier this month, I wrote about Calgary, AB-based indie rock/darkwave/New Wave/post-punk trio Ultrviolence. Comprised of Nate J. (vocals, bass), Ali Abbas (guitar) and Kirk Power (drums), the Canadian trio have quickly developed a reputation for a moody post-punk sound that’s reminiscent of contemporary acts like Interpol, Viet Cong and others, and for adhering to DIY principles as they’ve played in countless basements and tiny clubs across the continent, using battered instruments and battered instruments and ignoring the cliches and dictates of the recording industry machine. Now you might recall that i wrote about “Better Learn How to Swim,” a moody yet swooningly Romantic song off their forthcoming Black Sea EP that manages to be reminiscent of Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol — in particular, I think of “Untitled,” “NYC” and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” — as the band pairs a sinuous bass line, angular and shimmering guitar chords and an dramatic, anthemic hook with Nate J’s aching baritone.

Black Sea‘s latest and single ” Radiation” will further cement the Canadian trio’s burgeoning reputation for crating dark and moody post-punk/New Wave/darkwave-leaning rock while gently expanding upon the sound that initially captured my attention — the band pairs Nate J’s expressive and yearning baritone with ethereal synths, shimmering guitar chords played through copious reverb, and a driving rhythm consisting of four-on-the-floor drumming and propulsive bass chords. Sonically, the new single manages to clearly draw influence from the likes of the aforementioned Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol, Joy Division and New Order — but with as subtle twist on a familiar sound.

Comprised of Nate J. (vocals, bass), Ali Abbas (guitar) and Kirk Power (drums), Calgary, AB-based trio Ultrviolence have developed a reputation for a moody post-punk sound reminiscent of Interpol, Viet Cong and others, and for adhering to DIY principles — they’ve played in countless basements and small clubs across the continent, using battered instruments and blinking electronics while writing and recording their material, following wherever their muses take them. Recently, the Canadian post-punk trio have started to receive both radio airplay and attention for their live show and building upon the growing buzz they’ve received, they released “Better Learn How to Swim,” a moody yet swooningly Romantic song off their forthcoming EP Black Sea that’s reminiscent of Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol — in particular, I think of “Untitled,” “NYC” and “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” — as the band pairs a sinuous bass line, angular and shimmering guitar chords and an dramatic, anthemic hook with Nate J’s aching baritone.

 

 

 

If you were frequenting this site last year, you may recall coming across posts on Toronto, ON-based proto-metal/doom metal trio CROSSS. And although the band is rather mysterious and little is publicly known about the band’s personnel I can tell you that the band, which originally began as a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based duo, went through several lineup changes before relocating to Toronto and settling on the band’s current configuration. Since relocating to Toronto, the trio have developed a reputation for crating murky, sludgy and intense dirges that are deeply inspired by proto-done, lo-fi indie rock, noise rock and metal, and as a result bear a sonic resemblance to the likes of Black SabbathA Place to Bury Strangers and others — but more bottom heavy and doom-laden as you’ll hear on “Interlocutor,” off their last effort, LO which, was release to quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere.

Naturally, as a result of the attention they received, the Canadian trio opened for the likes of Viet CongBuilt to Spill, Thee Oh SeesKing TuffDirty BeachesPop1280,  Oneida, Built to Spill, METZ, Grimes, Fuzz and Moon Duo among a growing list. But adding to a growing profile, CROSSS announced that they had recently signed to Joyful Noise Recordings, who will re-issue the trio’s first two efforts, 2013’s Obsidian Spectre and the aforementioned LO — and they also announced that they’ll be releasing their third full-length effort later on this year. In the meantime, check out “Eye Seance” a doom-laden and lo-fi-leaning dirge  that has the trio pairing rumbling down-tuned bass, enormous power chords with howled vocals in a song that sounds like an existential howl into an indifferent and cruel void.

The band will be embarking on a Stateside tour throughout the end of this month and April, and it includes a NYC area stop. Check out tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates:

3/25-3/26: Indianapolis, IN
3/27: Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
3/28: Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
4/27: Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
4/20: Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola
4/21: Boston, MA @ O’Briens
4/22: Brooklyn, NY @ The Acheron
4/23: Philadelphia, PA @ TBA
4/24: Baltimore, MD @ The Crown
4/26: Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place