Preoccupations - Preoccupations
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2016 Ratings: #129 / 947
User Score
Based on 283 ratings
2016 Ratings: #149
Liked by 6 people
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Loud and Quiet

The overall experience is simply a much more listenable one; the LP puncturing the occasionally overwhelming sense of foreboding and paranoia with one of positivity – euphoria, even – just as Flegel sings about “suicide machines” et al.

Pretty Much Amazing
Whereas bands like Protomartyr and Savages tend to operate in shades of grey, Preoccupations speaks in a monochromatic tongue, which, in addition to translating to more color, also means albums that are not as wearying.
The 405

Preoccupations is a tough, black and resilient modern rock album. It takes an intense and undiluted look at the dark mental landscape of someone who is dealing with today's stresses and responsibilities. It doesn't attempt to try to explain them away; it just offers a vision of what it's like to live amidst them.

The Line of Best Fit

Preoccupations' greatest asset is in its breadth of ability; spontaneous, yet considered; off-kilter, but instinctive; eccentric, although well composed.

The Skinny

The darkness that seeps through Preoccupations' self-titled offering comes from a more personal place. Written amidst breakups and instability, the album is more introspective than its predecessor – and a hell of a lot more visceral.

Under The Radar

There is a stout cohesiveness that gives Preoccupations a feeling of completion and resolute artistic confidence and its reverberations mount with close and repeated listens.

Drowned in Sound
The interesting thing about Women/Viet Cong/Preoccupations is the extent to which they wantonly shun notions of music as an expression of personality: for all the undoubted passion that flows though it, their work never really seems to be about them, or indeed about anything in particular other than abstract, elemental feeling.

Preoccupations makes strides to shore up Preoccupations’ identity without losing the crucial spontaneity of their debut.


Their second record hits harder, digs deeper and lingers longer than that promising debut, and keeping all eyes on their art proves to be the best statement Preoccupations could ever have offered.


Preoccupations is a more coherent, more accessible set of songs that proves this band doesn't need an edgy name to attract the attention they deserve.

The Needle Drop
Preoccupations--formerly Viet Cong--return with a new album and a darker sound.

What makes Preoccupations much more than a circular exercise in self-analysis is the vitality of the music. There’s a tense, nervous energy running through all the tracks, which connect to each other like wires that spark electrical currents when they meet.

Consequence of Sound

Understanding Preoccupations is easiest when setting it against Viet Cong. That record was marked by claustrophobic arrangements ... Preoccupations does away with the murkiness, sounding remarkably clear in contrast to its predecessor.

Slant Magazine

Preoccupations is focused on songcraft. The freewheeling, spiky abstractions peppered throughout the band’s earlier work as Viet Cong and Women are all but absent. While not exactly slick, the album has the polished dynamism of studio pop, its hooks varnished for maximum impact.


Preoccupations are steadying their footing here, both growing up and grounding themselves sonically.

No Ripcord

Preoccupations is a strong follow-up to an excellent debut record. It showcases a band that is evolving and finding new ways to stretch out their sound.

NOW Magazine

The new material isn't a huge departure but does feature synths more prominently, and Preoccupations have embraced their 80s goth-pop tendencies more wholeheartedly.

Tiny Mix Tapes

The album gains momentum as it enters its second half, but it still sounds like they’ve lost some of the vigor and confidence of their debut.

Dark, looming and kickass.

Best Track: Degraded
Worst Track: Monotony
I was worried with this one.
I didn't like their first album so much, but I absolutely LOVED 'Continental Shelf' and 'Silhouettes'. I kept wondering - Why didn't they make an album with songs that were as good and creepy as those two? -

Well, I kind of got my answer with this album.
Most of the songs here feel nostalgic, creepy, sci-fi-ish and noisy. This album got me hooked for months, specially songs like 'Degraded' and 'Stimulation'. I really feel like they're the modern/horror version of ... read more
I didn't think this record was going to be as great as it is, but wow; this easily is one of the most impressive releases of the year so far. The sound on this record is just so much more beefier and depressive compared to their last effort, with tracks like Anxiety coming down with that awesome synth lead and great lyrics from frontman Matt Flegal. The real winner on this record is the diverse cut Memory, with the band channeling their inner New Order to make what might be the track of the ... read more
In the parlance of our times, Jagjaguwar is absolutely killing it this fall; Angel Olsen is burning up our Top 30 chart here at WLUR, Justin Vernon is releasing a new Bon Iver record, and the Preoccupations (FKA Viet Cong) are following up their excellent self-titled debut with...their self-titled sophomore release. For those of you who aren't in the know, it's been a strange year for the Preoccupations, who finally changed their name in April -- months after announcing their intent to do so -- ... read more
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Added on: June 13, 2016