Album Reviews

Solitude Sounds: Preoccupations – Preoccupations

Solitude Sounds: Preoccupations – Preoccupations
by Killian Laher

The band formerly known as Viet Cong renamed themselves as Preoccupations in 2016, but on the basis of this album that was their only compromise.  60 seconds of glorious machine noise introduces Anxiety before the dark, downbeat guitars kick in and Matt Flegel sings “anxiety ” doomily. Twinkling keyboards attempt to alleviate the dank atmosphere but it basically sounds like it was recorded in a cellar.  A damp cellar.  The ringing guitars and syncopated percussion of Monotony calls to mind a bleaker version of Interpol.  Zodiac dials the intensity up a little before the 11 minute centrepiece Memory.  Unlike on the Viet Cong album, this time around the lengthy epic is slap bang in the middle of the album.  And this track is something else entirely.  It opens with a vaguely gothy bass line, where Flegel sings JUST like Peter Murphy before the bass starts looping in on itself before dropping away to be replaced by a clean, post-punk guitar lick and Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade on vocals!  This rolls on for a couple of minutes before dissolving into 5 minutes of ambient noise.  How brilliant is that?

Some of it is like amped-up, gothy Interpol (Monotony, Degraded, Stimulation).  The brief, harmonised Sense provides a drop in pace but things kick back majorly into gear with the thrilling Stimulation which races along at breakneck speed.  The album finishes with the slow, pounding anthem Fever, a fitting way to end one of the more exhilarating albums of the last few years.

Track List:

1. Anxiety 04:29
2. Monotony 02:53
3. Zodiac 03:43
4. Memory 11:26
5. Degraded 04:00
6. Sense 01:01
7. Forbidden 01:32
8. Stimulation 04:41
9. Fever 04:31

Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music

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