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REVIEW: Preoccupations - Preoccupations

REVIEW: Preoccupations - Preoccupations

By: Daniel Ward
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A review of the Preoccupations album Preoccupations.

 

Epitomizing the essence of anxiety and the terror that worry can bring, Preoccupations’ self-titled album is a fierce rock record that draws from classic goth and post-punk.


Formally known as Viet Cong, this Canadian post-punk outfit has reemerged under a new moniker with a euphonious new album title: Preoccupations.  The new name couldn’t be more apt—the nine new songs that comprise Preoccupations are filled with apprehensive lyrics, and a disquiet musical atmosphere that seems to perfectly capture the inside of a troubled mind.  Singles “Anxiety” and “Degraded” have already etched the album’s outline—now the full release completes this stark image.


The record opens with “Anxiety”—a brutal mix of hot and cold. It carries searing, crisp production yet icy synthesizers and hollow, pounding drums reminiscent of Stephen Morris’s work in Joy Division.


Perhaps taking inspiration from The Cure’s 1982 album Pornography, “Monotony” ambles to a similar beat as “A Strange Day”.  However, instead of Robert Smith-like vocals, there is a deeper croon—more in line with Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs.


Ramping up in energy, “Zodiac” is aggressive and deeply cutting.  Repetitive and urgent, the music creates an engaging and inescapable hypnosis.  “Stimulation” captures a similar feel, accounting for some of the most powerful moments on this record.


At over eleven minutes in length, “Memory” is an experimental song to place in the middle of a record.  Even when the words come to an end, the music stretches on in an atmospheric wash of sound. Conversely, “Degraded” is probably the closest to a pop-song you’ll get, although it still has a vicious bite and an atmosphere of malaise.


Preoccupations have had a lot to worry about—undergoing criticism about their former band name and living up to the acclaim of their previous record.  However, whatever the source of inner turmoil, they have turned it into new, engrossing music that profoundly touches on primal emotions.

 

Preoccupations - Preoccupations


Listen to a song by clicking on a title below:

Click to Play Preoccupations - “Anxiety”

Click to Play Preoccupations - “Degraded”

 
 
 
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