Primitive Programme = Joy Division + Dramarama + Ultravox + Modern English
Primitive Programme released this EP just as they are becoming one of SLC’s most exciting new wave groups. The release kicks off with a nasty guitar riff in “Modern World” that would find itself comfortable in any punk outfit, calling to the stuff that Johnny Fuckin Marr was cooking up in the ‘80s with The Smiths and to the more tenacious side of Dramarama. “Triangulate” follows with the same hype but brings on a more eclectic set of maneuvers. It starts like any of your old, favorite Modern English tracks but then dips in to some unexpected, almost psychedelic, stuff that I don’t think bands from ’84 would have had much courage to take on. Primitive Programme have tones coming in from all directions, buckling listeners’ knees and having them on the floor, giving into Modern World’s futuristic stylings.
“Celebrate” offers another glimpse of the new wave and ’80s influence, but unfortunately, it doesn’t stand out more than that. I find that it emulates the music of 30 years ago without enough original luster. “Calculate” wraps up the release, droning on a synth that begs for further attention. What makes it interesting is not only the synth but the intense and aggravated atmosphere created by the instruments surrounding it. It’s a song that would have come off of Ultravox’s Vienna if members of the group weren’t given the optimistic and carefree outlook as children that would go on to help define a large part of music of the ‘80s.
By the end of this new release, though, I’m pretty excited. I haven’t heard a new wave band come out with this much success in a long time—not since like 10 years ago, when I was geeking out about The Bravery and The Killers. I hope these guys stick with it. I really think they can make a dent, not only here in the Great Deseret but also in a broader scope of the future to come. –Austin Doty