There is plenty of post-punk around; post-punk that tries to cover new territory in pop, post-punk that takes a turn for the noisy, post-punk that remains devout to the originators. Preoccupations, formerly known as Viet Cong, are firmly in the camp of the traditionalists, but they are one of the few that remembered to include post-punks original metallic, industrial churn that resembled Joy Division and the Fall’s Manchester. There’s even the menacing monotone of Matt Flegel. Anxiety can be hard to capture in a song, as it’s an unpredictable thing that can have a different reaction for different people, but the claustrophobic synth and unusual sounds are certainly not positive. Anxiety is terrifying, and if Preoccupations wanted to embody it, they’ve done it here.
‘Sense of urgency and unease / second guessing just about everything’ Flegel sings in a low, all-emcompassing drone. It’s like being trapped in a public place with so much happening, and no escape, from the clattering guitars to Cure-esque echo drums. In Preoccupations’ world, there’s little hope, and everybody is just a tense timebomb. ‘Anxiety’ is frightening.