The Avulsions : Expanding Program

2018/03/16 | LP / Digital | 036

The Avulsions’ highly anticipated debut album 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, or 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” serves up a closing moment of uncertain calm.


Track Listing

1 Control
2 Mars
3 Generate
4 The End
5 Motherless
6 BOB
7 Clone

 

Liner Notes

Personnel: Samantha Renner, Josh Rohs, Joanna Graves, Brianna Whitmore.
Recorded and mixed by Josh Rohs.
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering.
All songs by Samantha Renner except track 5 by Josh Rohs.
Front cover and inner sleeve photography by Kristen Brown.
Layout and Design by Eric Seymour.

 

Full Description

In the past three years, The Avulsions have emerged from Saskatoon as one of the most captivating new bands in Western Canada. Originally formed by Samantha Renner, Joanna Graves, and Brianna Whitmore, the trio expanded to a quartet with the addition of Josh Rohs for their highly anticipated debut album. Painstakingly completed in Rohs’ synth-filled home studio over 12 months and mastered by Montreal’s Harris Newman (Wolf Parade, Ought, Godspeed You! Black Emperor), The Avulsions’ Expanding Program launches their gothic post-punk into a sci-fi dystopian future that may not be far off.

Thus far, The Avulsions have traveled from Calgary’s Sled Island festival to the Halifax Pop Explosion and over to Europe for The Great Escape. Expanding Program sharpens the focus of their live performances with shiver-inducing melodies powerful enough to open portals to deep space. The songs uncoil slowly, patiently working through hypnotic passages filled with shards of spindly guitar and synth work that alternates 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’s Deceit.

The Avulsions' singer and multi-instrumentalist Samantha Renner's songwriting owes as much to her classical music education as it does to her taste for goth, post-punk and art-rock honed while hosting her weekly radio show. Throughout Expanding Program, Renner’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. These doomsday fixations result in future-focused songs filled with bleak predictions how the world’s populations could meet their demise. As we’re collectively woken to the realities of global politics, nightmarish possibilities must become more central to the average person’s mind.

The 12-minute “Clone” has provided the sprawling conclusion to countless Avulsions live shows, and fittingly serves as Expanding Program’s final act. Glistening guitars, martial snare rolls, and Mellotron samples begin a steady march as its extended instrumental passage ramps up in tempo, reaching explosive intensity before the album’s closing moment of uncertain calm. Written from feelings of loneliness and an inability to relate to other people, the song sonically represents frustration with a barrage of aggression before its ultimate release into the cosmic void. Renner concludes "I think that I would literally need to clone myself in order to understand another human being."

 



design + development: Structured Abstraction

Produced In Co-Operation with promofact