There is an art to talking to an Aussie for they do not do verbal communication like the rest. Initially you need to end every sentence with an increasingly higher pitched intonation just as if you were asking a question, whilst simultaneously slowing down every word with elongated vocals that give the impression that too much time may have been spent smoking natures favourite jazz cabbage.
Essentially Aussies are great at everything. Sport (if a little ‘cheaty’), academics, creating economies and especially music. However, they do things very much in their own time and cannot be coerced to move beyond these laconic parameters.
Melbourne based 5 piece Program and their music are perhaps more propulsive in terms of their stance on percussion than the norm, but essentially their aesthetic is exactly and perfectly the same.
The best examples of this vibe can be seen in the brilliance of tracks like Tailwind (see below), Program and Motorbike. Here cramped and jangled The Feelies style guitar riffs, concede rather than fight for attention, to battered bass lines and musical dawdlings that could be considered totally vacuous, if it were not for the sheer brilliance of ‘the whole’.
At the end of the album the band break free from this sense of cluttered laconic and become far more propulsive in tracks such as They Know and Show me (see below) as if they are rewarding themselves for their previous restraint. Naturally, as with everything this band touches, it just works in the most unnasuming and natural of ways.
I am struggling to think of some clever final line to sum up this album. Which is just as well as any sense of the contrived would just seem out of place in context to this brilliant debut.