Album Reviews

Preoccupations (fka. Viet Cong) – “Preoccupations” Album Review

Preoccupations (fka. Viet Cong) – “Preoccupations” Album Review

Trevor Davies

September 16th, 2016

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Preoccupations
are following up one of my favorite albums of 2015, Viet Cong, with their sophomore album Preoccupations. Weirdly enough, this will be the bands second self titled album. The band was previously known as Viet Cong, however, after the name sparked some controversy the band ultimately decided to change their name.

The album kicks off with some of the best songs this band has ever written. I have listened to this album AT LEAST fifty times now, and I continue to be blown away every time I spin it. The lead single “Anxiety” is the opening track, and when Matt Flegel’s deep vocals come in with the synths, you know it’s going to be quite different from the debut album. Viet Cong was more guitar driven while Preoccupations incorporates synths into the mix, which works very well.

Preoccupations - PreoccupationsMy two favorite songs on this album are “Zodiac” and “Memory.” These two tracks are both contenders for my song of the year. “Zodiac” features these swirling disorienting guitars on the chorus, and then quickly transforms into a groovy bass line on the verses. When the tracklisting for the album was released fans saw that “Memory” was clocking in at 11:27 in length. This gave some fans the idea that it would be another “Death” (the epic closing track on Viet Cong). While the two songs share similarities in length, they couldn’t be anymore different. Memory starts off like any other song on this album, then around the 3:30 minute mark the song breaks into a groovy track that makes you want to do nothing but dance. The build up is absolutely nothing short of epic. Then at 3:58 a bass line comes in that will change your life. The track features Dan Boeckner on vocals and his vocals really do bring something special to the table.

If there’s one gripe I have about this album, it’s that I wish “Forbidden” was longer. The eerie synths and Matt’s vocals truly give me the heebie jeebies.  “Stimulation” is a track I find myself hand banging to. If there’s one track I could see being on their debut album, it’s this one.

I honestly had a hard time trying to write up a review for this album. It’s something different than post-punk, I truly don’t even know what to categorize it. I knew from the first listen that it was going to be one of my favorite albums for 2016, and it still stands true. While under a new name the guys of Preoccupations still deliver the apocalyptic music they served on Viet Cong.

Fantastic album: 9.5/10

Watch the music video for “Anxiety” below,