Album of the Week: Preoccupations

New Material Out Now via Jagjaguwar

Mar 23, 2018 Bookmark and Share

Those looking for a return to Viet Cong, look away now. At this point it might just be easier to think of Preoccupations as a different band, as their latest album New Material shares a lot more in common with the first, self-titled Preoccupations album than their debut under their former name. Luckily, this is no bad thing, even if different, as Preoccupations have yet again created a gothy, atmospheric post-punk cracker.

While the song structures may be far more regular now, there are still all the layers and mode of invention one would come to suspect from the Calgarians, it's just subtler. Tracks like "Decompose," for instance, use the now "classic" guitar interplay from dueling axe-men Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen, while drummer Mike Wallace as ever keeps things ticking along with expert precision. Second half jam "Solace" is another particularly great example of this, with the kind of running lead guitar line most bands or guitarists can only dream of, intercutting Matt Flegel's driving bass and moody vocal line.

Lead single "Espionage" is about as rocking as anything the band have produced, kicking Preoccupations' third record off to a rollicking start. Meanwhile, "Disarray" is a beautifully composed piece of post-punk reminding one of Joy Division or The Cure's more sensitive, pop-indebted moments. Late on, closing couplet "Doubt" and "Compliance" (these guys sure do have a penchant for single word titles, huh?) ends things on a far darker note, leaning towards Nine Inch Nails' industrial depression. At first glance, some may be disappointed that Preoccupations have gone further down the '80s New Wave influenced sound, but give this one time, and it's dark charms-best listened to at night, incidentally-will win you over.



Read our 2016 interview with Preoccupations.

Preoccupations Tour Dates:

4/13/18 Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
4/14/18 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern SOLD OUT
4/16/18 Montreal, Que @ Theatre Plaza
4/18/18 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *
4/19/18 Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade *
4/20/18 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (Zone One) ^ SOLD OUT
4/23/18 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts *
4/24/18 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
4/26/18 Columbus, OH @ The A&R Music Bar *
4/27/18 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
4/28/18 Chicago, IL @ Co-Prosperity
4/29/18 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
5/1/18 Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret *
5/3/18 Edmonton, AB @ Starlite *
5/4/18 Calgary, AB @ Palomino *
5/5/18 Calgary, AB @ Palomino 
5/9/18 Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt 
5/11/18 Seattle, WA @ Barboza #
5/12/18 Portland, OR @ Star Theater #
5/14/18 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop #
5/17/18 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo #
5/18/18 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo # SOLD OUT
5/19/18 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar #
5/22/18 Austin, TX @ Barracuda
5/23/18 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
5/24/18 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird 
6/5/18 London, UK @ London Underground
6/7/18 Berlin, D @ Musik & Frieden
6/8/18 Helsinki, Finland Sideways Festival
6/10/18 Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival
6/11/18 Paris, France @ Maroquinerie
6/12/18 Ramsgate, UK @ RMH
6/13/18 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
6/15/18 Dublin, Ireland Donnybrook Stadium
7/3/18 Amsterdam @ Sugarfactory
7/4/18 Hamburg @Molotow
7/5/18 Roskilde, Denmark @ Roskilde Festival
7/8/18 Monts, France Terre Du Son Festival 
7/12 - 7/15/18 - Lithuania @ Devilstone Festival Anyksciai
7/13/18 Dour, Belgium Dour Festival
7/14/18 Brighton, UK The Haunt
7/15/18 Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival
7/16/18 Birmingham, UK The Hare and Hound
7/17/18 Bristol, UK The Fleece

^ w/ Odonis Odonis
* w/ Freak Heat Waves
# w/ Moaning

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

Cavern of Anti-Matter: Hormone Lemonade (Duophonic)


Sunflower Bean: Twentytwo in Blue (Mom + Pop)




Jack White: Boarding House Reach (Third Man/Columbia)





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