The Austerity Program


"Oh Mr. sound man! This is as looooooow as it gets," Austerity Program frontman Justin Foley sang into the mic during sound check. Don't worry. They are not sell outs -- yet. They didn't have a big fancy sound check where you need an expensive, exclusive VIP ticket to watch them tell their roadies to tune their guitars. No, this was a three-minute sound check just before they played.

"This is our record release show. We have about six songs to play. We should be done in about half an hour," Foley announced at the start of the band's set. The show -- which was put on by Rich Hall of 1,000 Knives -- happened May 2 at Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Union Pool and included Phantom Glue and Disappearer.

Despite the promise they made, the band's drummer (an iPod) kept messing up, forcing the band's set to go over 30 minutes. Bassist Thad Calabrese thought it was his fault the second time the drummer threw off the band, but it wasn't. It took an audience clap-a-long to help them get back on track.

Foley wasn't as active as he usually is on stage -- running around and jumping off of things people shouldn't jump off of. Still, it was probably the most powerful set I've seen from the Austerity Program. They don't make music that is made for 2010. Their music sounds like it should have been made in the '90s, with audible influences from the Jesus Lizard, Unsane and Nine Inch Nails. But even then, it would have simultaneously sounded vintage and ahead of its time. The band lives in its own era, and that is why you should check out their new EP 'Blacksliders and Apostates Will Burn' -- which you can stream via Hydra Head Records.