VietNam: Vietnam

By Kayceman

This is the kind of drugged-out hippie rock we've been waiting for. We're talking flower power shooting serious h-bomb. It's Velvet Underground meets Dylan - sloppy but together, and almost as powerful as their predecessors. On their self-titled debut full-length, VietNam has created the type of album that lays the groundwork for an entire career.

These four shamelessly hairy dudes are working off the same blueprint that has always made great rock music, and they aren't technically proficient enough to fuck it up, running off scales or trying to show off their dexterity. Instead, they craft massive crescendos, crank up some distortion, and let what's inside bleed out over simple, guttural rhythms.

Sordid tales like "Mr. Goldfinger" come to life on the lips of bandleader Michael Gerner:

"A couple whores on the side are keeping daddy alive/ what's an old man to do... It ain't easy giving head to a man almost dead/ but sometimes green is a lucrative charm... Well, money and class are just a pain in the ass for me/ but if you stick it under my nose/ I'll sniff up and glow/ in the ecstasy."

These are the type of guys who "cook up a twenty for a breath of fresh air" ("Toby"), and sing about "feeling so much better even under the weather/ from the pills you stole from the rich girl on Bowery's medicine cabinet" ("Summer In The City").

While it's true VietNam would be nothing without the deranged mind and desperate delivery of Gerner, it's the subtleties that take this record to the next level. The lush strings on opener "Step On Inside," the blaring horns on "Apocalypse," cameos from Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle), Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5), and the fact that the whole thing was recorded 100-percent analog, it's the little things that make this record a very big deal.

VietNam is living the music they make. Everything, from the look to their back story to the name, screams SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK & ROLL! There's nothing overly brilliant, and it's not even all that original, but by drafting the glory of yesteryear's rock heroes and tweaking it to present day Brooklyn, VietNam has made an album as good as anything that's hit the streets in the past six months. All you really need to know is that VietNam is dirty like a night with some girl you met at a bar who doesn't even care that you don't know her name. Yeah, it feels just that good.

JamBase | San Francisco
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http://www.vtnm.net/

[Published on: 2/1/07]

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Comments

All Loving Liberal White Guy starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/1/2007 11:53AM
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All Loving Liberal White Guy

yes!!!!! awesome review!!! these guys rule live. nameless one night stands rule too!

makisupamikey starstarstarstar Thu 2/1/2007 01:07PM
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VietNam is completely dedicated to their well-earned reputation. Go see 'em - prepare to be floored.

Ladoo Thu 2/1/2007 03:16PM
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Ladoo

"All you really need to know is that VietNam is dirty like a night with some girl you met at a bar who doesn't even care that you don't know her name. Yeah, it feels just that good."

Best couple of lines I've ever read in a review. Thanks for a great review. I'm checking them out right now on Rhapsody. Like what I've heard so far.

toestothenose starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/2/2007 06:57AM
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toestothenose

I've been digging this album alot! Can't wait to catch these gents live. HooHaa for bands that ooze Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll!

MobyGrape Fri 2/2/2007 09:24AM
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MobyGrape

awesome review

GrantedProductions starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/4/2007 07:47AM
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GrantedProductions

these cats are touring w/ the black angels this spring! be sure to peep!

lovelivedos Sun 2/4/2007 08:04PM
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lovelivedos

looking forward to checkin these guys out. great review.

Jammer1086 starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 05:50PM
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Jammer1086

SEX,DRUGS, AND ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!These guys are the shit. A classic album in my eyes. Playin at the Ottobar in Baltimore. Who else is going??????

D14 Wed 2/7/2007 08:43AM
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D14

Digging the cd. Gonna check em out in Nashville on Valentine's Day...awww.

mescking starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/7/2007 04:09PM
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mescking

Friggin' awesome album. I might have to head down to Baltimore to see these guys live.

ThePhishPhan Mon 2/12/2007 01:52PM
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ThePhishPhan

Great album. far our but good

ThePhishPhan Mon 2/12/2007 01:53PM
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ThePhishPhan

Great album. far our but good

ntrog_hi starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/24/2007 09:47AM
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First saw them live with Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins and was blown away. Counted the days untill the album came out and have been glued to it ever since. No doubt these guys are the real deal. Nothing is forced, contrived or maunfactured they just let it go, and thats what makes this album excellent.