Degraded | Preoccupations


Andrew Younker

Preoccupations has returned with the second single from their recently released self-titled LP.

Formerly known as Viet Cong, the band showed a surprising jump in maturity from their last release. Metallic, clashing, treble-y guitars are replaced by more experimental synths and drum machines. “Degraded” is a rare, special song to embody both traits while still progressing as a band.

The opening synth-organs push forward slowly but surely, the percussion fades in, and the filter rips off like a band-aid. An immediately striking feature of the song is lead singer Matt Fleger’s muscular, blooming bass guitar. He and drummer Mike Wallace form a rock-solid rhythm section, supplying a canvas for the guitarists/keyboard-jockeys to draw blood and wreak havoc.

The anthemic chorus cries out, “I can’t improve, I can’t improve, I can’t improve,” but it doesn’t seem to be asking for help. Fleger may find beauty in destruction — perhaps he even finds satisfaction in his own degradation. Preoccupations are more concerned with how fast they’ll burn out and how long they can make it last — the music reflects that.

Preoccupations’ self-titled album is out now on Jagjagwuar Records.