Preoccupations - Viet Cong
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2015 Ratings: #66 / 776
Year End Rank: #39
User Score
Based on 548 ratings
2015 Ratings: #65
Liked by 1 person
January 20, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Jagjaguwar / Label
Post-Punk / Genres
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NOW Magazine

Their self-titled debut full-length ... reduces the drone and adds more accessibility, melody and cohesion to the equation, making it one hella searing and impactful album to start the year off right.

Pretty Much Amazing
Viet Cong boast a rich arsenal of textures, which they’ve funneled, or sometimes wrestled, into post-punk-shaped confines.
The 405
A slight but perfectly judged thirty-seven minutes long, their début album is one that constantly confounds expectations and negotiates potentially difficult territory with an assured, exhilarating expertise.

Viet Cong maintains the same shadowy, droning tones that haunted Cassette, only taking them deeper into the abyss. At the same time, it's strangely more direct and unconventional.

Loud and Quiet

As a band that seems so down on life, Viet Cong’s debut album could easily be a dragging bore, but it’s not.

The Line of Best Fit

There is no denying the raw power of Viet Cong ... anyone with punk in their heart will connect with this album.


Most of all, this is a record of exertion, where the physical investment in live performance is meant to stimulate creativity, those demoralizing tours inspiring smarter use of the studio. 

The Skinny

Viet Cong is a solid, admirable distillation of early 90s US indie that dares to throw in some rewarding ideas of its own, proving that "retro" need not always be a cuss word.

2014 saw many bands trying to recreate sounds of the past in their own way, but with ‘Viet Cong’, the band are remoulding genre conventions and confirming that they’re not settling for anything other than pushing the boundaries
Drowned in Sound

Viet Cong's volatile brew often coalesces into something disarmingly catchy


Viet Cong were a group full of promise on their debut EP, Cassette, and with their harder, heavier, and more powerful debut album, they're making it clear they have the talent and smarts to become a major force in Canada's indie community.

No Ripcord
Rarely do records with such an off-kilter composition sound so vital and exciting, especially considering the emotional rupture that sets them into motion.

Viet Cong's self-titled introductory LP feeds off itself and builds out ideas to create the first truly non-derivative piece in the drone-rock genre since maybe Deerhunter's Cryptograms.


Musically, Viet Cong achieve a remarkable sense of dynamism by bleeding bright melodies into a mill of lo-fi industrial percussion and monotonous vocals, a compositional technique not unlike the signature methodology of Sonic Youth. 

Fans of Women’s challenging melodies will appreciate the songcraft here, but Viet Cong are very much their own animal.
Tiny Mix Tapes

For all of Viet Cong’s well-worn ugliness ... their desperate, life-or-death romanticism ultimately leaves a stronger impression than mere shock value.

The Guardian

There are moments when over-saturated drums meet Gregorian chanting and Magnet-style folk oddness, but the band are at their best when experimentation complements their songwriting rather than defines it.

With music sounding this raw, vibrant and strikingly different to the current generation yet achingly familiar to those that will remember the original post-punk era, Viet Cong have tapped into something exciting.

These are songs bestowed with heavy production, each track swathed in a fog of gauzy effects and processing. The result is something that sounds mechanical and generally detached from emotion.

Consequence of Sound
Viet Cong’s eponymous debut shoves two hands into death’s heart and reports back with a seven-song setlist.
Rolling Stone
These guys wear their goth-punk Purple Heart proudly.
Rather than establish themselves as a upcoming project with a defined style, Preoccupations on their debut definitely based their sound primarily on what was left of Women's ashes (except for "March of Progress" which even rivals some of the previous band's most out-there experiments). The difference now offering less moments that frustrate our initial expectations and reward with repeated listens and instead coming off far more straightforward complete with a biting edge.

A riveting ... read more
Original score: 79
Full of crusty & crumbling industrial sonic textures, Viet Cong's uber-confident debut is no-wave post-punk that goes beyond shallow revival. It might be heavy-going thematically, but it crams a lot of creativity and allows a few cracks of light into its 37 minute runtime.

Standout tracks: Death, March of Progress, Continental Shelf

Listen if you like: Protomartyr, Deerhunter, and bands who don't shy away from offending the Vietnamese community.
Viet Cong's self titled release is a drowning parade of post-punk anguish and madness with a touch of gloom, serving intensely between 37 minutes and 7 songs. Foreboding and desolate, the Canadian band flourish gravely.

Killer Tracks: Pointless Experience, March of Progress, Bunker Buster, Continental Shelf, Death.
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Track List

  1. Newspaper Spoons
  2. Pointless Experience
  3. March of Progress
  4. Bunker Buster
  5. Continental Shelf
  6. Silhouettes
  7. Death
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Added on: November 23, 2014