The Austerity Program - Terra Nova (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Austerity Program

Terra Nova (2003)

Hydra Head

Minimalism in the classical sense usually refers to a lack of melody, sometimes very little harmonic change, with a focus on rhythm. It can be done well, but in most cases, it is annoying. This is what we have here, and it also comes across as pretentious as hell.

These two guys, according to their bio (which is likely fake and supposed to be funny) they are young millionaire inventors of something called Marginetrics. So, as they say, they aren't doing this for the money since they're already rich, so I guess they can afford for no one to like them. The two guys play guitar and bass, accompanied by a drum machine, and they pound through 4 tracks in over half and hour in this so-called EP. And let me tell you, ever minute is loooong. They prefer to stay on each chord for at least a minute, until it becomes downright irritating. They do some interesting things rhythmically from time to time, but sometimes it's just straight eighths on one chord for what seems like an eternity. The one chord is usually not pretty either, and what is pretty through an "ultra-grunge" pedal bought for $15?

And there is no melody over said chord. Of the little singing, it is all pathetic crooning/screaming on one or two notes at most, and talking. A typical example of these guys is the first song, inappropriately (and most likely pretentiously) titled "song 8," which goes almost 3 minutes before vocals appear, and when they do, you wish they hadn't, despite how trying the music was before. I have nothing against a band with little or no vocals, like Ghosts and Vodka, or without a load of hooks in every song, like Fugazi. But at least those two bands are doing something interesting in other departments. These guys just sound like two aging grunge rockers with too much time on their hands and a desire to annoy. But I guess if you like grating, dissonant, minimalist garbage, this is for you. The Austerity Program shouldn't quit their day job, if Marginetrics is even real.