Douglas Martin is half Birdman, half Michael Keaton as Birdman
Much in the tradition of the band from which they sprang — the still-sorely-missed Women (still-sorely-missed by me, that is) –– Viet Cong is a band rooted in darkness. It’s safe to say any band with the chutzpah to name themselves Viet Cong probably aren’t going to be adjoined to concepts of lightness and levity. The harsh tones of “Silhouettes,” in advance of the band’s self-titled record coming later this month, should be part and parcel to that idea.
Last year’s Cassette (originally released in 2013) contained a palpable mixtape feel appropriate to its title; there can’t really be a departure from a designated sound if there is no one sound to which you’ve designated yourself. In fact, “Silhouettes” very closely resembles Cassette’s “Structureless Design,” the release’s darkest, gothiest offering. But whereas that song felt as though it was burrowed in a hole, this one feels like bats flying into the night sky; the width of its space can be felt just as much as the pitch-black aura. Holes of light are poked into the dark, however, in the form of appropriately Bauhausian synths, and the song surges away into its coffin bed before the sunlight comes out. Songs like “Silhouettes” make the darkness all the more appealing.