Vietnam | Past Away

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Rock: Modern Rock Pop: New Wave Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Past Away

by Vietnam

Legendary art-punkers Vietnam blazed a scorching sonic trail when they ushered in the 80's new wave scene in Atlanta. Those unforgettable tunes are now together in this long overdue debut album. The past is the future is now.
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Was It Long Ago?
4:35 $0.99
2. (Or is it That You) Never Lost It?
4:26 $0.99
3. I B B B
2:35 $0.99
4. Teeth
3:53 $0.99
5. 12 or 13
5:23 $0.99
6. Charge!
3:58 $0.99
7. Scorchothon
2:18 $0.99
8. Editor of Hype
6:56 $0.99
9. Failing
4:36 $0.99
10. Härte
2:44 $0.99
11. Bobby Jameson
3:24 $0.99
12. It Don't Work
3:59 $0.99
13. Match Your Equal
9:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Vietnam started out in Atlanta in 1980, at a time when smaller, neighboring city Athens was the music city of that decade. Bands such as R.E.M., The B-52s, Pylon and Love Tractor were tearing up the clubs and getting much love from college radio. Vietnam played the same clubs and got a lot of the same type of praise that was bestowed upon the aforementioned acts, but they never cut an album. Jump ahead 25 years, and we finally have the band’s debut release.

The 12 songs on Past Away were all written in 1980-81, and although recorded recently, the quirky nature of that time is alive and well on this disc. Whereas most of the bands of the 1980s New South were guitar/bass/drum configurations, Vietnam featured moog and saxophone, which leads one to wonder if they were too alternative for the burgeoning alternative nation.

Lyrically, the songs are direct and almost in your face. In the song “Teeth,” Stan Satin sings “ is attracted to the woman / and at the same time repelled.” A menacing vocal is accompanied by a musical backdrop that wouldn’t be out of place on a Jane’s Addiction album, furthering the notion that these guys may have been too advanced for their time.

“Bobby Jameson” is the disgruntled uncle of “Rock Lobster,” at least in its musical layout — a beat to shake your stuff to and a synth track with enough cheese to put Burger King to shame. If you’ve got a party coming up, put on the track “It Don’t Work.” Its fantastic playing and sense of fun will satisfy the music snobs as well as the folks who just want to dance.

The spacey rock of “Charge” will have people wondering if you’re playing unreleased bootlegs from the Police or Talking Heads.

Oh, and don’t forget to dance!

---------Jon Dawson, Performer Magazine



to write a review

Gordon Lamb • Flagpole

Trust me when I tell you that Vietnam sounds as fresh as anything happening thes
Legendary Atlanta art-rock/new wave band Vietnam has finally seen its debut album released. Although the band first formed more than 25 years ago, its memory is currently being kept alive by member Stan Satin, and he’s the one orchestrating this release. Trust me when I tell you that Vietnam sounds as fresh as anything happening these days in similar arenas. The album Past Away is available in two digipak formats: one with a six-panel fold-out cover and another one hand-painted and autographed. As you read this, it should already be available in local stores and via CDBaby on the Internet. Sample the sounds over at


Vietnam Sounds
This is a total shake your booty album ~ fun to listen to during rush hour traffic -- Scorchoton is my favorite track it is a fun song ~ ~ (Or is it that you ) Never Lost It would be my 2nd favorite however they both kick ass! -- all of the songs are really upbeat and a great mood lifter ~I love the vocals .. "Failing & Match Your Equal" are the more mellow sit back and relax tunez~ kinda takes you floating ---


Past Away crystallizes as a brilliant and cohesive snapshot of Vietnam.
Stan Satin has a recurring dream where he's holding a record by his former, Atlanta-based new wave band Vietnam. Each morning he wakes up empty-handed. "One of my biggest regrets is that we never put out a record," says Satin. "We could have done it ourselves, but there was always a hint that someone was going to sign us. It didn't happen."

Vocalist/saxophonist Satin, bassist Tim Hunter and guitarist Drew Davidson (who is now deceased) formed Vietnam in 1980 at the height of Athens' heyday in the alternative-rock limelight. "The '70s sucked and 1980 seemed so fresh; it was a new start," Satin continues. "Atlanta and Athens really felt like the center of the musical universe at the time."

The group cycled through as many as 13 members, including Sue Garner, who went on to record with '90s experimental indie-rock groups Run On and Fish & Roses, and later as a solo artist for Thrill Jockey Records.

Vietnam shared stages with the likes of Public Image Ltd., the Gun Club and John Cale, along with Athens peers Pylon and Method Actors. Satin's blaring saxophone work amid a framework of dark, post-industrial punk and no-wave grind drew comparisons to everyone from Cabaret Voltaire to the Contortions.

Twenty-five years after the group's initial burst of songwriting, the material has finally been released. In December, Satin's Scared Records label released the first concrete documentation of Vietnam, a CD titled Past Away. The label is home to other forgotten locals including Atlanta's first punk band, the Restraints; Subliminator; and Front Street, featuring Will Fratesi (Hubcap City, Tenement Halls) and Greg Connors.

Posters for the CD tout Past Away as "the debut recording from Vietnam" without a hint of irony. The songs were recorded in 2000, and after having plenty of time to work out the kinks, Past Away crystallizes as a brilliant and cohesive snapshot of Vietnam. Although it's not an actual record, the CD makes Satin's dream a partial reality. "I do plan on putting together a compilation of the original recordings, including some live stuff," he adds. "I'd love to do it on vinyl."

Jeff Clark, STOMP and STAMMER

Melding hallucinatory funk with sinuous, tightly-twisted new wave, "Past Away" a
Both an artifact and a resurrection of sorts, the debut CD from Atlanta band Vietnam showcases prime material from the demented art-waver's heyday of '80-'81 as interpreted by the reconstructed lineup that burned briefly several years ago, with vocalist/saxophonist/lyricist Stan Satin the only constant. Released on Satin's own Scared Records imprint, "Past Away" ably captures the spastic magic that gave Vietnam its rep as one of the more creative acts of Atlanta's post-punk era. Melding hallucinatory funk with sinuous, tightly-twisted new wave, the band could be the product of a trans-generational mind-meld between Romeo Void and Heros Severum. Sure, there are aspects that give away the time period, but with today's indie scene excavating the early 80's for inspiration, this sounds as current as you could reasonably expect.

Terri Sapp, JammedOnline

Thankfully, the world now has a brilliant record of this timeless collection!
When I first heard pieces of Vietnam’s latest release, "Past Away," I was determined to pay close attention to Stan Satin and his Army of Musicians. The songs on this album were written between 1980 and 1981, then recorded and released decades later! Thankfully, the world now has a brilliant record of this timeless collection! As an album, "Past Away" is a complete joy from beginning to end!

“was it long ago?” kicks off the album heavy with shining guitar from Jennifer Ericson. The vocals are very soothing, as is the percussive “island” breakdown ending.

The REAL question is “(or is it that you) never lost it?” The first time a friend played Past Away for me, “never lost it?” was my immediate favorite.

THIS SONG ROCKS, with a combination of sax and guitar funky enough to shake any ass. Bryan Lilje’s powerful bass line and Stan Satin’s screaming vocal rants induce much pleasure!
Original member of Vietnam, the late Drew Davidson’s guitar even builds up great spirit to this infamous crowd favorite. David Dean’s synth provides interesting and nice layers to the music in “ibbb.” The saxophone breaks through with a highly recognizable shout. In addition, Stan Satin’s vocal range is undeniable in many of his performances, including “ibbb.”

“teeth” is a blast! The saxophone is quite exotic;
belly dancing is encouraged! “12 or 13” takes off with spooky vocals, bass, and effects, and builds into an almost British sounding little ditty. The vocals in “CHARGE!” are undoubtedly beautiful. I think this is a particularly high point for Zod, as the drums boom, and the steel drums kick ass! Stan’s saxophone in “CHARGE!” sounds like it came straight out of the 50’s. My guess is that “scorchothon” was somewhat inspired by the out of this world musical stylings of DEVO. The drums are "fo sho" on spotlight in this upbeat tune. “scorchothon” vocals seem to have some
kind of effect on them that makes them sound electric…hot. “editor of hype” is a truly significant part of Past Away for Stan Satin. The saxophone sings with Stan on this hoppin’ number as his voice and sax riffs go all over the place, in high and low registers. When I saw Stan recording at a recording studio recently, I noticed
that he could make a resonance with the sax that sounds like he is playing two different notes in two different octaves at the same time… harmonizing with himself in one breath… I think I hear some of that in “editor of hype.” Stan even accentuates his vocal range and ability to work the score. His vocals here are reminiscent of what the love child between Elvis Presley and Fred Schneider would sing like! Musically, everyone is essentially brilliant here.

There’s always a slow song, and “failing” makes you wanna sway. They use more guitar from the late Drew Davidson, as well as acoustic guitar layers. “harte” does not need lyrics to be a killer song! The tropical music goes perfectly with Stan’s jungle inspired vocals.
The sax melody ebbs and flows perfectly in this lone instrumental, and is most certainly pleasing and dance inspiring. “bobby jameson” jets David Dean right into center stage. His programs are totally retro! I love the
story about this song… Bobby Jameson wrote a song called “Vietnam,” so Vietnam felt like returning the favor and writing a song called “bobby jameson.” The
tambourine is exciting, and Stan’s vocals are literally "saxophonic!" I have thought that more than once, as Stan’s voice is also similar to a sax in “it don’t work!” From the beginning bass/cow bell team-up to the superb falsettos, “it don’t work” brings down the house every time. “match your equal” tops off "Past Away" with a vengeance. It starts out slow, then builds tension, and leaves us wanting more Vietnam! At the end, I discovered that there is a continuation hidden track if you let it play for a while. Way cool!