Viet Cong The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 20

Viet Cong The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 20
Photo: Shane Parent
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However you frame them — former members of Women, previous Chad VanGaalen collaborators, one-time members of a Sabbath cover band — Viet Cong are no spring chickens. The Calgary quartet meets whatever expectations their pedigree engenders with aplomb. Knocking off tracks from last year's debut, Cassette (which is getting a proper release via Mexican Summer next month), the band's playing was sharp, even if its members were somewhat restrained as onstage personalities.

Singer-bass player Matt Flegel could frequently be seen staring at his feet while stiffly picking away at his bass strings, yet the cumulative effect of their tight musicianship, particularly the interplay between their two guitars, overcame any between-song shyness as they melded a strong sense of pop craftsmanship and melody to '70s U.K. post-punk. If this is what we can expect from the band as they move beyond what is essentially a demo, good things are in store.