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The Austerity Program : Beyond Calculation

With roots sunk deep in the gritty sounds of ‘90s-era noise rock, The Austerity Program’s Beyond Calculation works as a successful revival of an underrepresented style, taking noticeable influences from pivotal noise rock acts such as Shellac, yet still standing strong in its own right. With savage, brooding compositions, Beyond Calculation treats the listener to growling bass tones, cutting lyrics, and guitar riffs with the viciousness of a swarm of angry locusts over the course of its eight tracks.
 
Opening with a thumping instrumental, the first ‘proper’ song of the album starts with Song 30, telling the incredibly relatable story of that one despicable faux-friend who nobody wants to deal with. Another stand-out track and the album’s grand finale, Song 37, strikes hard with a gradual build-up and a harmony between bass and guitar resulting in a booming, emotional sound akin to thunder rolling over an open plain.
 
Although the album certainly has a lot to offer, there is a noticeable lull from the fourth to the sixth tracks with a lack of the fluid and fire that the rest of the album bears. These tracks seem plagued by dull progressions and questionable structuring choices that do little to benefit the rest of the album, and whether or not this can be forgiven on an album that took four years to create is up for debate.
 
However, despite its flaws, the strong songs on Beyond Calculation far outweigh the weak.  The punchy noise rock portrayed on the album is of high quality, doing justice to the scene it arose from and justice to songwriting in general.
 
BY THOMAS BRAND
 
Best Track: Song 30
If You Like These, You’ll Like This:  SHELLAC, FUTURE OF THE LEFT
In A Word: Fanged