Today marks the debut of Passion Play, an occasional column designed to highlight the notable unsigned bands that send me their demos and actually manage to successfully navigate the treacherous distance between my mail box and my stereo. Yes, Disco Vietnam is the work of fellow Stylus writer, Barry Schwartz, so yes there is obviously a conflict of interest. But to paraphrase, Eric Cartman, it’s my hot bloggy, I’ll do what I want.

Who: Disco Vietnam

What: (The story of Disco Vietnam in their own words): Barry wrote a song. Barry asked his brother Kenny, who is good at drums to play drums on the song. Then Barry asked Jared who is good at everything to play bass on the song. Then Barry wrote more songs. Barry then asked his brother Kenny, who is good at drums to play drums on these songs. Then Barry asked Jared who is good at everything to play bass on these songs. Then they said, let’s name ourselves Disco Vietnam. And then they recorded these songs with this guy named Ryan. Then everyone loved them and they became rich and famous. The end… of the beginning

Where: Huntington Station, NY

When: Disco Vietnam’s debut EP, Get at Me Corruption, was released last month to the delight of both disco lovers and Vietnam lovers.

Why: Few bands step out of the box with a debut single as obscenely catchy as Disco Vietnam’s “The NP (Natalie Portman).” With wry tongue in-cheek lyrics, jangly Brit-pop guitar chords and propulsive bullet train drums, Disco Vietnam are akin to a cross between Oasis and Ted Leo if they’d grown up in New York, smoking blunts, listening to the Wu and lusting after Natalie Portman, every Jewish male’s favorite screen sex symbol. Indeed, Get at Me Corruption is a very solid debut, one vaguely reminiscent of that first Bloc Party EP that had the Internets going nuts a few years back.

In addition to his work fronting Disco Vietnam, lead singer Barry Schwartz also produces some of the best hip-hop beats around. Also produced under the Disco Vietnam moniker, Schwartz’s instrumentals bang with a dusty D.I.T.C. rawness, trapped somewhere in a glorious haze between Buckwild and Just Blaze. Plus, one beat called “All Men are Jerks Because All Bitches are Crazy,” is perhaps the greatest song title of all-time.

As if this all this wasn’t enough to have you checking for Disco Vietnam, the band’s Myspace blog might be the best in music. Peep DV’s hilarious analysis of Lindsay Lohan and tell me otherwise.

From Get at Me Corruption
MP3: Disco Vietnam-“The NP (Natalie Portman)”

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