CIVIC: New Vietnam And Singles [Album Review]

New Vietnam And Singles
Anti Fade/ATO Records [2023]

Melbourne’s CIVIC released their debut EP, New Vietnam, originally in 2018 via Anti Fade Records. It was this EP that caught the attention of Flightless Records (King Gizzard) for their 2021 full-length Future Forecast, which, with their ATO partnership, made its way to the States. This new reissue, New Vietnam And Singles, marks the first time the EP is released on vinyl in the US. In addition to the original seven tracks, this album features several 7″ releases and a special new version of “New Vietnam” recorded live from 3PBS (Melbourne radio).

If you’ve never heard of CIVIC or their debut EP, then the real gem here is the first seven tracks. The EP still represents some of the rawest and most energetic punk rock that the band has released to date. The band’s earlier recordings have a much more hardcore root, reminiscent of Circle Jerks and Black Flag. The EP’s seven songs are short, sharp, and to the point, with catchy melodies and powerful, driving rhythms. You’ll experience a blistering assault of guitars and drums on the title track, while other standout tracks include “Nuclear Son,” a scathing indictment of nuclear proliferation, and “Shackled Man,” a tale of oppression and resistance. The album closes with “Burning Steel,” a fittingly incendiary end to a fiery record.

The second half of this new release includes the four tracks from the Those Who No EP (2018) and the two songs found on the Selling, Sucking, Blackmail, Bribes 7″ (2019). These tracks actually reflect more of the direction that CIVIC’s full-length albums take and do not have such a hardcore edge. They provide a good balance and highlight the full range of the band. The only thing that would have improved this release would have been including the 2020 Radiant Eye 7″, which would have added the title track and another rocker in the B-side, “Making Time.”

New Vietnam is still a must-listen for fans of old-school punk rock. It’s a refreshingly honest and uncompromising EP that delivers on all fronts. The additional seven tracks certainly add value if you don’t already have them in your collection, giving this reissue a nice runtime of 38 rocking minutes. If CIVIC is new to you today, this reissue is the perfect introduction.

“Nuclear Son” / “New Vietnam” / “Flick The Station”

Circle Jerks / Black Flag / The Saints

Taken By Force (2023) / Future Forecast (2021)

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Thomas Wilde

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