The Program, Analogical EP | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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The Program, Analogical EP 

(Self-released, CD)

Burlington's The Program -- formerly known as the Basement Band -- could be called a rock 'n' roll act. But the sounds contained within their Analogical EP are so varied that the descriptor doesn't completely do them justice.

A quartet comprising guitar, bass, synths and drums, The Program craft reflective soundscapes with driving beats and understated vocals. Like the psychedelic wave-art that graces the album's cover, the music within swirls and courses. In fact, one of Analogical's strengths is the complementary nature of the tunes and their packaging. Nice to see a group put in that kind of effort.

Opener "Firefly" kicks off with pounding drums and a jangly guitar, both of which are prominent elements on this disc. Soon, piano lines come to the foreground as wistful vocals hover around the instruments. The track's chief sentiment seems to be that life sometimes treks by faster than we may wish. The song also suggests that there is beauty in the midst of breakdown: "Everything seemed so graceful / as the stars fell down like rocket ships."

"Fissure," the album's most raucous tune, is about trying to keep up with the world's breakneck pace. The track's machine-gun guitars and intensely passionate vocals contrast with the disc's more sedate numbers. The words embrace the music's forward motion: "The fire is burning, I know it is / and nothing can stop it," they sing. "We're blasting off, you best believe it / always saving face."

While The Program don't necessarily re program the face of modern music, Analogical serves as a solid introduction to what the band is about. It's also a good jumping off point for more experimentation. My guess is, they'll have plenty more to offer as they continue their explorations.

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Max Resnik

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