Release Date: Mar 10, 2009
Record label: Dead Oceans
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band might invite comparisons to any number of contemporary indie-rock acts. Their angular guitar work and strident vocals call to mind the likes of Wolf Parade and, to a lesser extent, Modest Mouse. But these comparisons don't hold up to repeat listens. Because these bands ….
Seattle's Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band want the punters to think there's more to the band than its music (although this was ultimately a simple ploy to get listeners). How else to explain their initial promo shots and a MySpace page that offered no music, but only cryptic videos and pictures? They manufactured a mystique they needn't have, since their own story is quite compelling.
To viewers’ amazement and frustration, early Family Guy episodes tried to stuff as many semi-connected lines of thought into twenty-two minutes spaces, and Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band achieves a similar effect with their self-titled debut LP. Their name alone relieves the listener of the expectation that anything they do will make much sense, but for those willing to suspend their notions about things such as song structure, St.
How many generic indie rock tropes can a band stuff into a mere three minutes? Probably more than the Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band manages in "Who's Asking", the first track from their self-titled debut, but that's not to denigrate the group's dubious achievement. In those three short minutes, we get dramatically massed vocals, upshifted double-time guitars, half-time breakdowns, perky synth flourishes propelling a poppy bridge, and a disjointed, herky-jerk denouement.