Anxiety by Preoccupations
The hazy, dread-filled Canadian four-piece formally known as Viet Cong have returned after the news broke that they were undergoing a name change out of respect for all those affected by the Vietnam War. A rare display of compassion and thoughtfulness from a band whose songs are as much soaked in melancholia as they are in reverb. Now re-branded as Preoccupations, the group have come out with the thematically cohesive new single entitled Anxiety.
After about a minute of echoing chimes and a quietly festering bed of droning synthesiser, the song hits a glass ceiling and smashes through, rhythmically trudging forward. The abrasive, knuckle-dragging sub bass is hypnotically dark, making you want to rip your hair out and clap along to the ritualistic Apache-esque beat that permeates the verses of the track.
The opening lyrics of “with a sense of urgency and unease” set the tone for the song not only lyrically but thematically, and even sonically – the song is desperately dark, paranoid and claustrophobic. Vocalist Matt Flegel’s rocky, pained vocals – heavy with guilt and bitterness, dig into the back of your skull as he acerbically spits out a cigarette-burnt portrayal of the inner psyche of the mentally ill. The chorus floats in like a dark cloud, filled with distant spinning synths, half-forgotten harmonies and an interrupted krautrock beat, defiantly punctuated by chopped-and-screwed percussive guitar work a la Kirin J Callinan. Your stomach churns with the drawled refrain of “encompassing… anxiety…”
A malfunctioning Johnny Cash robot was programmed to imitate Joy Division.
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