The Avulsions: Expanding Program
Expanding Program launches the Saskatoon group’s gothic post-punk into a sci-fi dystopian future that may not be far off. Songs uncoil slowly while patiently working through hypnotic passages. Shards of spindly guitar and synth work alternate between chilly, dread-inducing backdrops and regal orchestral-style arrangements, all pinned down by distinctive percussion that rarely relies on a familiar beat. On these slow-burning mini-epics, spectral ambience inspired by The Cure is fused with the chiming dissonance of early Sonic Youth, the deadpan drama of Nico’s The Marble Index, and the nuclear war paranoia of This Heat. The album’s morbid lyrics conjure a society of “Mars” under military control, lingering evil in the Twin Peaks referencing “BOB”, and the scorched earth of “The End” eliminating all suffering forever — before the explosive release of 12-minute closer “Clone” returns to a final moment of uncertain calm.