Music » Livewire


With the Black Angels. Monday, April 2, at the Beachland.


Vietnam give new meaning to the phrase I was in the shit. Here we have four bearded, longhair types from Brooklyn (sigh), who live in a commune (oh boy), subsisting on a diet of cigarettes (just guessing) and some '70s rock rec -- no, wait! That's the problem. Vietnam thinks it's ripping off Derek & the Dominos, but it's actually jacking the Black Crowes. They don't sound like the Velvet Underground; they sound like Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Vietnam was cut in Los Angeles, which is fitting -- 100 percent analog, broseph! Not since Thorogood's Bad to the Bone has an LP sounded this hamstrung by the devil's dandruff. In his naively toe-curling, Dylan-goes-electric dickless yawp, Michael Gerner sings about characters he must have seen in a Scorsese flick: "Money and class are just a pain in the ass for me/But if you stick it up my nose, I sniff it up and glow in the ecstasy." Easy now, Rimbaud.

As for the track "Gabe," it approaches a boogie, but it also contains these soon-to-be notorious lyrics: "How many times can a man slip through the floor/And man, how many times can a man ask 'Once more'?/And tell me how many answers do you have, señor?" If you stripped away all of Vietnam's contrivances, you'd be left with nothing but tape hiss, 'cause, like, it's fucking analog, señor.

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