The Calgary band formerly known as Viet Cong releases a new album on Friday, preceded by this compelling new single and video. Ringing guitars, driving percussion, and intense vocals evoke the post-punk sound of the early '80s.
By Kerry Doole
Preoccupations - "Disarray" (Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar): It hasn't been easy, but the Calgary band formerly known as Viet Cong has managed to survive the clusterf*** that surrounded the controversy over its earlier moniker.
A third full-length album under the new name, New Material, comes out this Friday, preceded by this third single and video. The song is a little more atmospheric and less aggressive than much of Preoccupations' previous material, with a tinge of psychedelia present. The ringing guitar, driving percussion, and intense vocals of Matt Flegel results in a sound decidedly evocative of British post-punk in the early '80s. That was a highly fertile period, so to be transported back there as convincingly as this is a definite pleasure.
Describing the song in a label press release, Flegel says: "When I was writing 'Disarray' it started off with an image of a mother combing her daughter's hair. I liked the metaphor of splitting the braids and combing through the tangles and wrote the rest of the lyrics around that image. This song sat untouched for close to 6 months as a recording with just bass and drums before we came back to it and wrote and recorded the guitar line while out of our minds one night in the early AM."
The track is enhanced by the eye-catching video, directed by Ruff Mercy and shot at Saunton Sands in North Devon in the UK. The director explains that "Disarray conjures up images of a mind unravelling chaotically. I wanted to physically show that inner turmoil without having to have Matt or an actor run around with a painted face looking distressed so to cut up and distort and draw over Matt’s image felt like an interesting way to show this."
The group's next world tour kicks off at Toronto's The Garrison on April 13 and Horseshoe Tavern on April 14, then Montreal's Theatre Plaza on April 16. Western dates follow in May. Itinerary here