A horrible hack

The Austerity Program

Black Madonna

Year Released: 2007
Format: CD
Label: Hydra Head
Reviewed by Kunal Nandi on Mar 13, 2008
A painfully underrated duo from the New York area, The Austerity Program build upon a decade's worth of foundation work (including their debut Hydrahead release "Terra Nova") to deliver a punchy, crisp migraine of a record. And yes, you did read right - TAP are a duo backed by a drum machine in the fine tradition of bands such as Big Black or early Godflesh. These guys sit neatly between those legends, what with their nihilistic, misanthropic, mechanised sound complimented by complex, atonal riffs cranked out without any great degree of skill but with maximum precision. This is all counterbalanced by the organically non-repetitive patterns drum patterns, no doubt the result of many hours spent poring over its interface, and by the singer's strained, agonised, all too human wail. This machine never stops.

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