By David Chiu
Hailing mainly from Brooklyn—with some criss-crossing between Texas and Philly—the band’s music can be described as eclectic: combining symphonic grandeur, edgy Velvet Underground and punk-inspired rock, and subdued folk twang. Those are the styles and sounds on the band’s long-awaited full-length debut album, which for all its eclecticism yields some satisfying results. One could tell of the band’s appreciation for their influences beginning with “Step On Inside,” which draws inspiration from legendary producer Phil Spector and the deadpan singing of the Velvets’ Lou Reed; the hazy twang of “Summer in the City” sounds like it was born to be played in the car driving along the highway; and “Welcome to My Room” really rocks. Fronted by the charismatic vocals of Michael Gerner and guitar lines of Josh Grubb, Vietnam makes a distinct statement on this new record as does its moniker.