Band overcomes Apocalypse Now connotations with lovely guitar haze There are stupider band names than VietNam -- you remember Test Icicles, don't you? Or Hinder? But basically, bands with names this ass do not come along every day. Yet this unwashed Brooklyn hippie quartet earns a reprieve for its gorgeous debut. VietNam explore the frontiers of psychedelic guitar haze, with a scruffy, country-cracked sound that evokes the mellow side of Spacemen 3 or all those late Moby Grape albums. Bearded guitarists Michael Gerner and Joshua Grubb create a spaced-out vibe, while Gerner croaks protest songs ("Mr. Goldfinger"), life-is-oneness poetry ("Step on Inside") and a scary overdose horror story/cautionary tale ("Toby"). The lyrics suggest they're not so big on capitalism, war or personal hygiene, observing, "It ain't easy givin' head to a man almost dead." VietNam get help from unlikely pals such as Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis and a couple of guys from Maroon 5. But there's no mistaking them for anybody else.
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