There's a lot of buzz about Viet Cong right now, and for a lot of reasons. But while their pedigree, controversial name and recognizable post-punk influences make for easy talking points, it's their ferocious energy and novel songwriting that seem to resonate so strongly with fans and critics alike. Miraculously, the Calgary band, half of whose members come from the defunct group Women, maintains reverence for the past while sounding surprisingly new. On their recent self-titled LP, the dual guitars of Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen bristle and twist like entangling spools of wire as bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace pound complex tattoos on strings and skins. Yet even as Flegel growls and howls, the songs remain more melodic than menacing and, no matter how frenetic, entirely danceable. To kick off their U.S. tour, Viet Cong ripped up the darkened KEXP studio in one of the most intense sessions that room has ever seen.
Watch Viet Cong's full performance on KEXP's YouTube Channel.