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Post Rock/Math rock • United States

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The Mercury Program picture
The Mercury Program biography
The Mercury Program is a band formed in 1997 in New York, US by Dave Lebleu, Sander Travisan, and Tom Reno. They released their self-titled debut in 1999 as a trio. In 2000 Whit Travisano joined the band and the line-up has been unchanged ever since. In the same year they released their second album, "From the Vapor of Gasoline", as well as recording an EP later the same year called "All the Suits Began to Fall Off", which was released in 2001. In 2002 the band went to the studio to record their third album, "A Data Learn the Language", and was released the same year. After touring around the US and in Japan The Mercury Program made a split CD/DVD with Maserati and was released in late 2003. Since then the band has taken a break.

The Mercury Program is a band that will please post-rock fans and jazz fans too. Their music varies through their albums. Prog and jazz will find great pleasure in listening to "From the Vapor of Gasoline" while post-rock fans will enjoy the atmosphere that "A Data Learn the Language" evokes.

- Ruben Dario (Chamberry) -

Why this artist must be listed in :
Approved by the Post-Rock team

The Mercury Program, studio album (1999)
From The Vapor Of Gasoline, studio album (2000)
All The Suits Began To Fall Off, EP (2001)
A Data Learn The Language, studio album (2002)
The Mercury Program / Maserati: Confines Of Heat, EP+DVD (2003)

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THE MERCURY PROGRAM Videos (YouTube and more)

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THE MERCURY PROGRAM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 2 ratings
The Mercury Program
3.00 | 6 ratings
From The Vapor Of Gasoline
3.63 | 8 ratings
A Data Learn The Language
3.80 | 5 ratings
Chez Viking

THE MERCURY PROGRAM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE MERCURY PROGRAM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE MERCURY PROGRAM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE MERCURY PROGRAM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 4 ratings
All The Suits Began To Fall Off
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Confines Of Heat


Showing last 10 reviews only
 All The Suits Began To Fall Off by MERCURY PROGRAM, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
3.77 | 4 ratings

All The Suits Began To Fall Off
The Mercury Program Post Rock/Math rock

Review by progadicto

4 stars It was really interesting for me to met the catchy sound of The Mercury Program some years ago. Even when I enjoy most of their discography, this EP is one of my favorite post rock pieces from the early 2000.

This album is a perfect mix of Tortoise and Gastr del Sol inffluences with some heavy sections that we will find in post rock tracks from the late 2000. Not much atmospherical stuff, but great sections leaded by slow guitars, specially on "There Are Thousands Sleeping In Peace", "Marianas" and "A Delicate Answer", maybe the most enjoyable pieces of this EP because the constant sense of "in crescendo" based on drums and bass work that leads the most epic moments of the album.

Maybe this album look like many others of the genre, but if you want to find some delicate minimal tunes mixed with heavy and even some proggy sections, this one could suprise you. It's a 4* for me...

 The Confines Of Heat by MERCURY PROGRAM, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
4.00 | 1 ratings

The Confines Of Heat
The Mercury Program Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Einsetumadur
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars 11/15P. This is a soothing and fresh mixture of post-rock-like guitar ostinatos and mellow Canterbury-type fusion. Get it if you're tired of all the fusion projects which make this genre a most academic and technical affair - this short EP and its floating textures make a difference. This review only discusses the pieces by 'The Mercury Program'.

This record, actually, was kind of a chance find. I've never heard about this band before, nor of any of the musicians - they're all from New York and I'm not really informed about their current local music scene.

To me, jazz fusion intrinsically means creative freedom - feeling over form. Certainly, the people who played with band leaders like Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett or John Coltrane weren't absolutely 'free' in their expression, although these musicians did record many most captivating albums, but the compositions were definitely more personal and authentic than the formulaic approach of the current 'new wave' of fusion. So many jazz musicians sound like perfectly-maintained machines: perfect timing, a perfect understanding of conventional chord progressions and a perfect versatility on their instruments. Many people rave over this kind of music, but I don't find any cathartic moments there, reckless moments of sheer madness, free-spirited eclecticism, or at least some emotionally captivating melodies.

The creamy Rhodes chords and the busy drum fills on this 16-minute set show that these guys have understood the common jazz formulas, too. But, interestingly, this whole record is mainly about ambience and tries something different. Maybe not something completely innovative, if there's truly innovative music at all in an era without huge audiotechnical innovations. But the three tracks on this EP slide and wash back and forth, just like the tide in a warm sea - maybe in California.

You Give Me Problems About My Business is a pretty upbeat opener with a charming rhythmic twist which especially allows Travisano to yarn some little Rhodes lines around it. Although it's the major chords which make up big parts of the recording, the pensive parts such as the one at 1:27 with the hugely sustained chords and the rippling electric piano are the icing on the cake.

A Crusading Theme competently handles the creepier side of the spectrum, including ambient sound effects in the beginning which somehow hint at GYBE! and similar bands. This time, keyboards and guitars form a gently bubbling alloy whilst the bass guitar provides the only clear melodies with a riff which is bound tightly to the sparse rhythm of the drums; as soon as the drums come in with a steady beat, the whole thing gets a notable space rock vibe. Great stuff!

Rose of Lima, born in the 16th century in the current capital of Peru, was the first saint born on the American continent and still seems to be admired a lot both in Spain and in the former colonies for her reclusive life as a virgin, her relation to nature and certain 'miracles' associated with her person. Irrespective of what one might think of miracles and that kind of stuff, the homonymous track Saint Rose of Lima somehow takes you back in this time, through cascades of clean electric guitar arpeggios and lots of harmonic re-interpretations of this motif. Interestingly, the jazz influences stay politely in the background here - the harmonic basis sounds much more ancient, a little bit folkish, a little bit Baroque in the little melodic flourishes, but it always stays on the tight and modern rhythmic fundament of bass and drums. The post rock elements lie in the steady, but relentless increase in dynamics over the 5 minutes, but this tender piece doesn't reach any kind of eruption, it just ebbs away again quietly in tinkling Fender Rhodes notes.

My first impression was that this is a fusion of jazz and post rock. Reverberated Rhodes sounds fade and slide over the constant drum rhythms which are firmly rooted in alternative/new art rock, but in the end it's only Tom Reno's echoed guitar patterns which could be taken from a post rock album. And the best thing is that it never sounds like 'hey, let's mash up fusion and post rock'. Instead, it's all of a piece and captivates you, right from the beginning, as an individual musical statement. Together with the EP side by Maserati - with less jazz, more genuine post rock, a slightly different band sound, but a similar feeling - this recording makes a nice and chilly listening, particularly suitable for a warm summer's day.

Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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