Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Bible Songs 1 by The Austerity Program

reviewed by jim hepplewhite


"Sometimes kings get wiped out, pissed on, ripped up, cut down. Sometimes kings get gooooooone"

Cover art for  Bible Songs 1 .

Cover art for Bible Songs 1.

The Austerity Program, a two-person metal band that uses a drum machine, trades in difficult listens. Bible Songs 1, a six song, twenty two minute record, maintains that. Like a record from Nails or Napalm Death, once is often enough. There's no quarter, no tapping out for a hummable chorus. I'd describe the Austerity Program as looking at a colossal machine of hideous, unimpeachable strength.

So about Bible Songs 1. It's an Austerity Program record. No concessions to listener comfort. Even lyrically, the band happily makes the listener uncomfortable, with Foley picking out some of the most evil moments of the Bible for lyrics. Because Foley's POV is often the person committing the evil acts in question, Bible Songs 1 expertly tests the listener's resolve. How long do you want to listen to Foley living in the skin of a lecherous person

What I find interesting about The Austerity Program: The juxtaposition of the ceaseless, overwhelming drum machine with Justin Foley's deranged voice. "2 Kings 25:1-7" is the closest the record has to a single, and it's mostly just building this blaring, aching, violent tension that doesn't quite climax. Actually, that might be the entire record: A blaring, aching, violent tension.