Vietnam - S/T

In one ambitious stroke, no doubt with an underlying desire to become more accessible, Brooklyn's Vietnam, once described as peddlers of Spacemen 3-esque stoner blues, do the improbable and unexpected and enlist Maroon 5 bassist Mickey Madden - alongside Jason Lader (The Mars Volta) and Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks) - to co-produce their debut album. Already, I hear the heavy eyes of the average Glitzine reader blinking out the morse code for the letters W, T & F!

Built around a core of blues, country and folk, everything about this long player - from the artwork right through to the musicianship - smacks of a lo-fi vintage. The vocals of Michael Gerner will always be compared to those of a certain Bob Dylan, but his gift as a lyricist ensures that he holds the attention of the listener much longer than he holds a note. The haunting simplicity of tracks such as "Apocalypse", "Toby" and "Summer In The City" are sure to make him a cult figure in circles of thrift store chic, but it is the circle of Glitzine readers that concerns me at this moment. It has been no easy task trying to come up with any number of musical comparisons that may be found in the record collections of the patrons of this site, in the hope of enticing them to check out this album. If I were to defy medical advancements and squint my ears then maybe, just maybe, I could hear a little of The Black Crowes when they were at the height of their deadheadedness (is that a word?!); a spattering of the retro-fuelled chapters of the Primal Scream back catalogue; a subtle Stonesy vibe that sun-bleaches at least a couple of tracks.....

This album is pure Sunday morning music or, in fact, the soundtrack to any day of the week made to feel like a Sunday morning due to the after-effects of a stolen prescription. Vietnam will, I'm sure, be lauded by certain areas of the music press, and rightly so. I do feel, however, that only the bravest and more adventurous readers of this site will feel the need to investigate this band further, making this a definite case of - good band; wrong place.

by Gaz E.

Visit the Vietnam Website