Review Summary: The Austerity Program debuts with a cautious, but violent listen“They’ll be coming around, always checking in, waiting for their own virus to start to feed again”
That sentence sums up Terra Nova
’s general tone. It’s a very negative, scornful record. The Austerity Program
made sure that their debut release was going to be a handful, all four of the EP’s tracks are long and grueling, with the shortest song being seven minutes
. However, this is not a flaw at all for it adds to the songs, giving them more atmosphere and personality. Whether it be the moody bridge section on “Song 8”, or the extended jamming on “Song 3”, not a single minute feels out of place. Each shout, bass line, cymbal crash, and any other noise that comes out of this record connects to one another perfectly, like pieces to a puzzle.
The instrumentation is great, but what’s even better is the record’s overall sound. The guitars have a scratchy, Shellac
-esque tone to them, the bass, while deep, sounds strangely, yet uniquely, hollow, and the inclusion of a drum machine gives the record an inhuman, industrial edge. With these three seemingly completely different tones, Terra Nova
has a cohesive, unique, and surprisingly heavy sound. Listening to the riffs on here is like having an overworked drill make holes in your ear drums. Hearing the relentless, energetic riffing on “Song 3” is like hearing that drill burnout and hiss, becoming more and more intense the longer it’s being used.
As mentioned earlier, Terra Nova
is a bleak record, lyrical themes such as poverty, murder, disease and all around hatred is not foreign. The way vocalist Justin Foley shouts “Should of seen that ***er run!”
on “Song 11” makes him sound downright crazy. To put it short, The Austerity Program put a lot of precaution into their debut EP, but not too much to the point that it’s a boring, predictable listen. Their still a lot of experimentation made clear on the record, whether it be the fascinating guitar tones or the lengthy tracks. It’s a pissed off, noisy disc grabs your attention. It makes you come to it, makes you check in on it, it practically waits for you to feed into it.