WHERE: The Hand
WHERE: The Hand
Oh man, this is rather nice. Toronto four piece Programm released debut EP Like The Sun ages ago (Yep, still far back in the backlog blahblahblah) but today it still sounds just as great and wonderful, if not better. That’s how we’re going to defend our terrifically late reviews. These guys perform a sound that is hugely atmospheric and full to the brim with all kinds of percussion, synths and reverb which brings a nice way to look at suffocation. Like being ambushed by an entire pack of puppies, or being in the centre of two large but lovely boobies.
The lead single and title track kicks off the EP with a deep rooted bass synth which pulsates and sets the foundation for something that could become a little anthemic. A beefy drum beat knocks rhythm in place and clatters an echo that fades out behind the breathy delivery of female vocals, erecting a sound that is an absolute fortress. It’s very well crafted, and certainly handles the rough onslaught of the guitar riffs that tear through the airwaves during the big chorus sections. This is a top, top track that really gets the blood pumping, and easily gets Programm, and Like The Sun, off to a good start.
Things get a little darker as We Barely Escaped comes in with a thunderous drum beat and male vocals that are not only soaked in reverb but followed by a creeping bass line copying each note. Programm add a little distortion to the guitar sections and they sound dashed with anger as they once again tear another scar into the vast, expansive sound. Things then get taken up to 11 as everything rushes out with a surge of energy to perform with a sudden fury, really tearing apart the tranquillity that came with the opening track. The closing half attempts to revive it as the lady takes over vocal duties and the drums hold off for a few seconds, really bringing an interesting contrast over the two halves. Once again this is another good song that just keeps adding momentum to how much we’re gonna fangirl over Programm.
Soft Shadows acts a kind of a break between the two longest tracks on Like The Sunthough it certainly comes with its own identity enough to warrant being more than just a “break”. It follows the similar bass synth formula but this time it comes with added groove, albeit a very lurching, off-kilter kinda groove. The drums create their own rhythm which not only builds up the tempo but also provides another set of layers while the guitars add some extra post-punk-iness to the sound. It’s like a much darker sounding version of Metronomy’s Boy Racers, but holds just as much groove.
Closing track ZeroZeroZero as should any closing track wraps up everything we have heard so far and condenses it into one final performance that freshens it up one last time while also adding a bit of emotional value to it for good measure. Swelling synths, deep-rooted bass and wonderful piano chords direct this EP into its resting place in a wonderful way, and brings an end to an EP that has been fantastic from start to finish. Like The Sun is a superb EP, and a great starting point for Programm. It will be interesting to follow this band around and hear where they go from here, but yeah, they’re pretty great. Check out the video to Like The Sun below, and for more music reviews, free downloads and all the feels in the world check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.