Don’t watch the sunset
In the morning
On the wet roads in Rose
Or drown in your fashion
So climb into your boat
And sail away…away…away
Vietnam, an old-school post-punk band from New Zealand, recently returned after thirty-seven years of hibernation to create their latest album, This Quiet Room. The new record’s third single, “In Another Desert”, is both the new album’s opening track, and also one of the band’s earliest songs unearthed from their original 1980s repertoire.
“In Another Desert” opens with a tribute to their departed friend, original drummer Leon Reedijk, who passed away from a sudden heart attack months after the band’s reunion show in Wellington. It kicks off with a stick count sampled from the 2017 show.
Primarily written by co-founder Peter Dransfield, In Another Desert sounds like a long-lost Clash track meets Joy Division – from the passionate vocals to the infectious hooks throughout, blended with a distinctly New Zealand-flavoured guitar jangle.
“We wanted to capture the energy and intensity of the song while performing in ‘live’ mode for this video,” says bassist Adrian Workman. “The band members really fired off each other during the shoot, and I think the finished product is dynamic and pacey…the montage of pics of the original line-up at the end really ties the old and the new together.”
Watch the video for “In Another Desert” below:
That dynamic contrast is illustrated by David Bugeja’s monochromatic video, which captures an energetic performance. Additional footage was shot in Wellington by Tim Simpson of NITROmedia. For the first time, this video features the entire recording line-up from the new album: Shane Te Kawenata Bradbrook (vocals), Adrian Workman (bass), Geoff Lerwill (keys), Joe Neufeld (drums), Cranston Brecht (guitars), and Barn Coren (guitars). A quickfire montage at the end of the clip pays homage to the original 1981-85 four-piece line-up that first performed ‘In Another Desert’.
Vietnam formed in late 1981, while the original four members were all still in high school at Wellington’s Wainuiomata College. Disbanding with the release of their 1985 self-titled debut EP, and reforming more than three decades later, the now six-piece Vietnam is based between Wellington, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia.
Both Bradbrook and Workman hail from Ngāti Kahungunu: a prominent iwi Māori (indigenous tribal group) along the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Māori representation in New Zealand’s post-punk and alternative music scene was rare at the time, and remains a facet of the band’s history in which they take great pride.
This Quiet Room by Vietnam (LP, CD, digital) can be ordered from:
- Europe, UK, Ireland: Clear Spot
- USA, Canada, Rest of World: Vietnam Online Store
- New Zealand, Australia, Rest of World: Bandcamp
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