“I thought I’d hide, from the world today” is the opening lyric of Program’s debut album. It’s also a bit of a mantra. Which is probably why it’s taken them three years to emerge from their home studio. But before you hear where they are going, the band wanted you to know from where they came.
Under their previous name – Volcano Playground – they recorded an EP that never felt right, and so it didn’t get the release that it (probably) deserved.
Produced by Toronto producer David Newfeld (Broken Social Scene), Program will release “Waiting” on a 7-inch split with Grounders.
Listen to “Waiting” via Bandcamp.
Talk about an awkward night. Ty Segall, the ever-deemed-prolific mastermind of psychedelic garage rock from San Francisco, headlined the February 6th show at the Phoenix with openers K-Holes (sludge grunge with a shrieking sax player and possessed blonde bombshell groaner/vocalist), Ex-Cult (headed by supposed Sid Vicious reincarnate Chris Shaw) and cleverly named Teenanger. With a line-up like that, seemingly killer to the umpteenth degree, one would assume the night would be grand. Ty always delivers. He hung from the ceiling pipes at the Horseshoe back in May of last year and got the crowd to pogo, for goodness sakes. He’s the man.
Not so this time around. The Phoenix was packed with zombies, with hardly a rowdy pit-making crowd near the stage. And this clearly discouraged Segall and co.
Starting off with two delicious tracks, “Thank God for the Sinners” and “You’re The Doctor,” off his latest release, Twins (one of three released in 2012), Ty was off to a good start. The set progressed, with tracks from the Black Sabbath-y Slaughterhouse screeched and screamed, an absolute auditory delight. His sweet harmonies juxtaposed with heavy and catchy guitar riffs are simply perfection. However, the energy of the crowd died down significantly about half-way during Ty’s search-and-destroy stage takeover. How music of such sheer strength, energy and velocity could fail to bring the crowd to a bouncing, moshing mess really baffles the mind. This clearly discouraged the band as they hastily chugged their way through their final songs, hesitantly returning for an encore (barely a cheer from the audience to come back). “Where’s the doctor?” Ty asked, referring to vocalist Chris Shaw of Ex-Cult, who joined him for two songs and then disappeared. It was an odd end to an odd night. Not even “Girlfriend,” perhaps Ty’s most known and catchiest number, made it to the audience’s ears.
Thinking back to Ty’s last Toronto trip with the Oh Sees – at the Hoxton of all places – the comparison of that show to his Phoenix frown-fest is painful at best (The only awkward bit being his kerfuffle with security. Ty seems to be on a bad luck streak when in Toronto). The stage diving at the Hoxton was endless, a constant loop of bodies flying into the crowd. Not a single person was still. This show could not have been more of the opposite. This just goes to show that audience reaction and interaction with the band is integral, if you care to walk out of there smiling and satisfied. Let’s hope Ty can rise from the Phoenix’s ashes and come back to sock it to us once again. We’ll be more fun next time, promise.