Viet Cong WayAway Stage, Oro-Medonte, ON, July 24

Viet Cong WayAway Stage, Oro-Medonte, ON, July 24
Photo: Shane Parent
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They took the post-punk world by storm with their self-titled debut earlier this year, and Viet Cong are continuing their brutal, sonic onslaught with an extensive touring schedule that has yet to find the band losing steam. Starting with two tracks from their 2014 Cassette EP, the band demonstrated their tightness and synchronicity by weaving through dissonant riffs and shifting, complex time signatures. There's an element to Viet Cong's music where it seems like its structure is being held together by a fraying wire, perpetually on the verge of collapse, but all four members merged extensive practise with innate talent to power through the tracks no matter how intricate, from frenetically complex opener "Throw It Away" to segmented builder "March of Progress."
 
Viet Cong ended their set as they did their LP, with extended bruiser "Death." Though the album version is already 11 minutes long, the band elongated the track even further, baiting the audience by milking the instrumental transition passages through repeating them over and over again. Instead of coming off as mischievous or self-indulgent, the band implicitly promised a payoff that wholly delivered, in the form of the song's aggressive, mosh-pit inducing climax. Though they displayed their synchronicity earlier in the set, "Death" fully encapsulated it, as all four members seamlessly communicated their transitions without so much as a glance as the song soared into the 15 to 20 minute range. Having quickly forged their own identity while building on the ethos of their members' previous bands, Viet Cong showed their sound is by no means a product of studio trickery: just four talented members working in tandem and not being afraid to try something new.