Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
Record label: Mexican Summer
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival
When Michael Gerner’s Vietnam slouched onto the scene with 2004’s The Concrete’s Always Grayer on the Other Side of the Street, they seemed like a joke, and a pretty good one at that; with its rambling guitars and neverending screeds, Concrete was a nice dig at late ’60s idealism, like the VU’s “Black Angel’s Death Song” played for laughs. An A.merican D.ream struts back into those alleyways, but devoid of any kind of humor. Gerner’s rants have always treated meter like a suggestion, but here the lack of form is coupled by a pervasive, wide-eyed paranoia.
Shortly after the 2007 release of their self-titled full-length, Brooklyn songwriter Michael Gerner's much-acclaimed rock revivalist unit Vietnam disappeared into the ether. Always made up of revolving players shakily assembled around Gerner's hazy, shambling songs, part of the bands' charm was their volatile nature. After the group's implosion, Gerner vanished to the West Coast, where he spent five years exploring ambient synth textures and scoring films.
You probably thought you’d never hear VietNam again. The surrealist trad-rockers were last active back in the mid-2000s, when they generated a decent amount of buzz based on one EP (2004’s The Concrete’s Always Grayer on the Other Side of the Street) and a self-titled full-length released in 2007 featuring guest vocals from Jenny Lewis and production by Beachwood Sparks’ Dave Scher and (weirdly) Mickey Madden of Maroon 5. After that, VietNam just sort of faded away.
It was assumed that after the release of their 2007 debut VietNam sort of just dissipated – the rock’n’soul outfit seemed to evaporate, leaving no hints of further material or where they disappeared to. Conspiracy theorists went bananas. In reality, primary songwriter and orchestrator Michael Gerner cosied up with a few Moogs in California and set about creating ambient synth soundtracks for films, focusing on side project D.A.