Albums to watch

New Material

Preoccupations

New Material

Third album from the Calgary post-punks previously known as Viet Cong

ADM rating[?]

7.0

Label
Jagjaguwar
UK Release date
23/03/2018
US Release date
23/03/2018
  1. 8.1 |   Paste Magazine

    Lyrically, it’s a study in harnessing the chaos and discord of life, while acknowledging the futility of doing so
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  2. 8.0 |   All Music

    New Material lives up to its name - it's not just another batch of songs, it's a fresh approach that feels like a breakthrough
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  3. 8.0 |   The Music

    A jittery, brooding offering of '80s-era post-punk anthems
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  4. 8.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    Founded on the band’s hefty but nervous guitar-bass-drums latticework and festooned with uneasy synthesizers that sound like white noise machines for people who never sleep, the album alternatingly lurches and shudders through scenes of intense maladjustment
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  5. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    New Material shines as a record for a band who are willing and able to break the confines; to not stifle their creative process – and they do a remarkable job by keeping their audience intrigued
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  6. 8.0 |   DIY

    Arguably the most whole and complete Preoccupations release to date
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  7. 7.6 |   Pitchfork

    An easier and more melodic entry into their spindly post-punk. Here, their defeatism takes on a new tenor: battle-worn, sincere, and not quite so antagonistic
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  8. 7.4 |   Earbuddy

    New Material is every bit wild and dark as its predecessors. Maybe there’s a slightly lighter tone, but the skies are still gray just as that Lynchian cover art.
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  9. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Viet Cong are now firmly in the rear-view mirror, although given how indebted they remain to their influences, Preoccupations don’t quite feel like their own band yet, however well they wear melodic moodiness
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  10. 7.0 |   Clash

    It’s very clear that this is a deadly serious record – not a parody, not even an homage, but a largely enjoyable marriage of the stodge with the airy and the old with the new which manages to retain an impressive sense of cohesiveness and consistency
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  11. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Post-punk revivalists Preoccupations are as good as ever, but their third album smooths down their rougher edges and turns their nervy gaze inward
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  12. 7.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    New Material hits the spot more often than not. And there’s something thrilling about the fact you still can’t quite pin Preoccupations down: their shifting sound isn’t a logical evolution, but a shifting journey into the dark
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  13. 7.0 |   music OMH

    May be the most consistent of the lot, but it isn’t the strongest
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  14. 6.7 |   A.V. Club

    New Material is sure to divide fans down the middle, leaving them questioning Preoccupations’ intent as, for perhaps the first time, the band is more keen on playing things close to the chest
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  15. 6.0 |   Exclaim

    New Material's subjects are too broad for incisive commentary, and its themes of disenfranchisement and helplessness are played too straight for dark comedy. Ultimately, it's about as expressive as those one-word titles would suggest
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  16. 6.0 |   The 405

    May seem like a step backwards overall, but it’s still promising – feeling like a more hesitant commitment to change than the forthright statement they intended
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  17. 6.0 |   Q

    It's executed with a gloomy elan that allows you to forgive its occasional silliness. Print edition only

  18. 5.8 |   Spectrum Culture

    New Material is an album that achieves a lot, but accepts failure as an option and takes it with a begrudging grace
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  19. 4.5 |   Under The Radar

    Too often there's a subpar post-punk feel, scraping together an Interpol baseline here and a Joy Division riff there
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