PREOCCUPATIONS- Preoccupations

Preoccupations used to be called Viet Cong. But that isn’t the only dramatic change behind this record, it’s an album effected by cross country relocations, relationship breakdowns, and a band on the edge. It’s not a totally fresh start, you don’t have to lean in too close to catch the gloomy resonance from Viet Cong’s only full-length, but you can feel that almost everything is different. Matt Flegel’s voice is low now, a moody black and blue tone where it used to be white hot, and Mike Wallace’s drums are less dangerous but more alive. The unstable circumstances surrounding ‘Preoccupations’ mean there is darkness here, just check the dense bass and troubled lyrics of opener ‘Anxiety’ for that, but there’s new electricity too. ‘Monotony’ is lush, neon indie, and even though ‘Stimulation’ is about how we’re all gonna die you could get up right now and dance to it. Some might hear the same old same old but this is an album of change. It’s recognizable but strange, it’s pre-apocalypse post-punk, it’s on repeat in Rick Deckard’s airpods.


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