The Austerity Program – “Song 36” (Stereogum Premiere)
About two years ago, the great metal label Hydra Head announced it would stop releasing new music and shift to just maintaining its current catalog. Two-piece punk band the Austerity Program were a mainstay there, and we hadn’t heard anything from them since the label’s demise. In fact, we hadn’t heard anything from them in the four years since their last release, Backsliders And Apostates Will Burn (which made the top 10 of Decibel’s best albums list that year). That’s changed this year as they literally took matters into their own hands by building a studio, self-recording their new album, Beyond Calculation, and putting it out on their own new label. Frontman Justin Foley describes the long processes of getting their space ready by “sanding drywall, wiring patchbays, incremental microphone adjustments … all brain dead but time-consuming activities,” but that care and attention to detail completely pays off in “Song 36.” With just their traditional combo of bass, guitar, and a drum machine, Austerity Program forge something that is pummeling, but never chaotic. It’s better off that way, too, as you hear the tremendous precision of the constant bass thump, that unrelenting drum programming, and Foley’s crisp, clean vocals as he forms the nightmarish image of a drunk mother burning down her house because “she knows that gasoline will settle what the bourbon never can.” “Song 36″ hits hard, but shows a band in complete control of their ferocity. Listen below.
Beyond Calculation is out 6/17 via Controlled Burn Records. Pre-order it here.