Friday, November 13, 2009

Winds of Change: The Secret to the Mercury Program

Although not necessarily a vibrantly out there act, the Gainesville based Mercury Program have consistently laid out great material since their founding in 1997. The sound is a strange mixture of affluent spacial-ism, and a concentrated light snow-fall pitter patter tone. The texture of the melodies are usually delightfully simple with occasional artistic change ups and rich heavy jazz fused post rock experimental rhythm cuts. Tom Reno's guitar style is a Mondrian take on playability. He lays smooth melodies that soothe and move simultaneously, while alternating back and forth between change ups and one man jam sessions almost effortlessly. With tracks like Marianas off of their first instrumental E.P. All the Suits Begin to Fall Off, Whit Travisano's vibraphonic groove sways become a motif of the bands latter sound. It gives a surrealistic Dali-esque mystery to the music, and makes the sound that much more intricate and blue. It is by no means, a mainstream sound, as it is minimalistic in its approach, and not attempting to gain a cult following in the styling of the society of MGMT electric feelians. Their sound has been steadily developing and even blossoming into a fruitful wondrous harmony of different styles and vibes. Off of their 2001 release, A Data Learn the Language, a wide range of different variations are introduced to the core sound the Program familiarized their fans with. Cuts like To-From Iceland have such a new, vibrant sound that actually emulates a wintery excursion through the backwoods of a wintered Iceland.
The use of the layered keys and rhythms makes their sound limitless with ideas such as these which can also be seen in Highways Like Veins the closing track off their 2000 release From the Vapor of Gasoline. Even in their earliest works, these boys have been dealing out the heaviest, deepest melodic masterpieces and only continue to do so. Now they haven't had a release since A Data Learn, but they dropped a release date on their new album Chez Viking, said to come out November 24th, of this year. If they can manage to keep up the solidity of their sound, and stay true to their experimental groove session roots, then this new album has the capability to put them back in the mix and show everyone just why they are a band to watch out for, as they are changing the face of modern music in an incredibly good way.

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