Programmable Animal
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Programmable Animal

Chicago, IL | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Chicago, IL | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Industrial




"Programmable Animal - E.P. Review"

Though this may have released on April 1st, Programmable Animal's latest self-titled EP certainly is no joke. We're given five tracks in total that span about twenty five minutes, which speaks volumes as some EPs struggle to even hit the fifteen minute mark. Anyway, aside from some simple cover art consisting of a dried out desert with cracked bedrock and a book entwined in a rotten tree, there really wasn't any other information available on this. That being said, music can speak for itself, so let's just focus on that.

Throughout each song, Anthony Wonaitis' vocals pretty much remain the same. While that isn't bad (as the man does have a decent set of chords), it also made me want to hear him utilize his voice in some other form or range. He absolutely did his best on the fifth and last track of the album, The Book of R's, as not only was he fueled by backing vocals, but the song was able to deliver some powerful emotions by shifting from acoustic ambiance to riveting guitar and drum work. The sludge that's brought forth almost sounds like a wall of noise purposefully built for each of the songs. However, although it works in doses, it also brings forth a problem: The songs sound like they were low in production value.

Now, I'm not talking that they sound so terrible that it's beyond listening and should be burned in a great bulging fire. No; that would be a lie and you would have my words mixed with some stupid fucking thoughts in your head. What this means is that there is just so much going on in each song at once that the overall sound quality becomes marred. Perhaps better balance of all their sounds and instruments would cure this, or maybe just a more structured song writing process would help them out.

Regardless, the ambiance that surrounds each song gives a very lovely aura. I hear about a lot of bands that like to mix ambiance with their work, and then I listen to their material, and I'm disappointed to only find out that their style of ambiance is nothing more than perhaps a sample of wind brushing through trees or brief water effects. However, PA manages to include a steady base of ambient work right underneath everything else. I think Anything shows this off well, staggering in the ambient sounds between harder guitar riffs and drum pounding.

Needless to say, the EP still stuck out to me as a rewarding listen. I have my complaints, but this is another situation where the good outweighs the bad. The EP is available digitally via Bandcamp, and physical copies at this time are sold out. But, check out their merch store, anyway. They have some sexy T-shirts and other such things. - Brutal Resonance

"Programmable Animal – Drepsea"

From the small town of New Lenox, Illinois, a possessing, industrial, and haunting storm is forming. The six creepy-minded musicians formed the band in 2011 and has since been grinding away to share their music with everyone in earshot. What Programmable Animal creates is truly not like anything else out there right now, except maybe if one were to mash up Muse, Deftones, and NIN (the band has a live cover of “Hurt” on YouTube, which is absolutely gorgeous), and then you’ll get something that could be found on Edgar Allan Poe’s iPod.

While this album is partially songs already previously released, it still stands that these kids are in it for the long haul. The track “Please” combines a harsh industrial mood with abrupt switch-ups to a much more mellow melody, and finishing off with beats and synths that Trent Reznor himself would be proud of. “Within” starts off with deep, brooding vocals, although the entire song quickly transitions into a confusing mix of pretty sounds and emotional screams. One more previously unreleased song from this album is “Assimilate,” which is a beautiful combination of spook and seduction that is just as assaulting as it is soothing.

Front man Anthony Wonaitis does not hold back one bit as he pushes himself to utilize his full, unadulterated morbidity to help listeners become completely consumed by the soundscape. With a certain uniqueness and avid devotion to not only creating new music but getting the band’s name out there, there’s no foreseeable reason Programmable Animal won’t be taking over the world in the near future.

Track list:

This Is Your Master
Fall Eye
Sea of Drepsea
Drown in Elation

Programmable Animal Website
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Programmable Animal Bandcamp - Regen Magazine

"Review: Programmable Animal ‘E.P.’"

The cogs in the machine that is Programmable Animal are well oiled and designed for only one thing: Dominion. Through tireless tinkering, calculating, and experimenting, these sonic technicians have continued to refine, re-define, and rarefy what it means to be on the cutting-edge of the kill room floor that is the Neo-Industrial Revolution, and, upon such a transient plain, Programmable Animal stand firm, as primal as they are purposeful.

With an unassuming title of ‘E.P.’ Programmable Animal put forth their latest offering and invite listeners to venture once more into the belly of the beast. ‘I Close My Eyes’ has a very Jonathan Davis-esque vibe, something that would fit comfortably on the Queen of the Damned OST — dark, edgy, and delectable — Programmable Animal fire on all cylinders right out of the gate.

Layered with nuance, texture, and rich atmosphere, ‘Bland Even With Hope’ is anything but. Anthony Wonaitis‘ vocals are a shadowy beacon in the desolate dark — as hypnotic as they are harrowing — beckoning the listener forth unto his own annihilation and blissful non-existence. It is in this manner that Programmable Animal have truly dialed in. Theirs is a brand that’s equal parts nihilistic and nostalgic, existential and euphoric, and it’s in this delicate balance of ruin and romanticism that they’ve truly come into their own.

The rest of the EP offers a deeper glimpse into the guttural. Derived from this primordial, auditory ooze is the formula that both unleashes and harnesses the animal within. There’s a Native American proverb stating that there is a battle of two wolves raging inside us all, one is evil: anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority, and ego. The other is good: joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth. The wolf that wins is the one we feed, and, with this latest offering, Programmable Animal are sure to satiate us all. - Poet and Pariah

"Programmable Animal - E.P."

It takes a certain level of... I don't even know what to name your EP E.P. That being said - it's certainly an effective title! The wide open vocals and powerful soundscapes found here draw you into a unique musical universe that simply speaks to the mastery of Programmable Animal as artists. They have crafted their own sonic world an the more you spin their new record the deeper you find yourself lost within. Herein lies a band with a distinct vision and a strange overall approach, one that will, if nothing else, capture the imagination.

The strange droning vocal lines that introduce I Close My Eyes immediately generate intrigue. They evolve into something much more poignant by the end of the record, but it makes for some very intense listening. The rising waves of sound (For sound bites and guitar effects are crucial to this record) help to create a veritable wall that comes crashing down on the listener. The undercurrent of gentle guitar lines that are directly contrasted by far more brutal and terrifying moments is difficult to wrap your head around. There is a certain sense of fatalism that seems to give this album a sense of destiny, as the albums last track - The Book Of R's wraps up you find your journey complete, you have returned home.

Programmable Animal know what it takes to craft some truly fascinating sounds. There is a level of intrigue and sublime intellectual diversity that helps to make E.P. so interesting to me. The depth of the production means that you can spin this record time and time again and still find new things to explore in these immaculate worlds. This is a band who capture your imagination and paint incredible images as you close your eyes and fall into a strangely magical world - a place of freedom and technical ecstasy.

Find them on Facebook! - Two Guys Metal Reviews

"Programmable Animal - Drepsea Review"

Welcome aboard Programmable Animal, an industrial rock outfit based in New Lenox, Illinois. This unsigned group of six began off in 2011, whereas a short demo was formed. Shortly after, the few became six in total, garnering together a group over the next year. With five men and one woman currently outlining the line up, they try to feel out depression, societal structure, and what they feel are wrongs done to innocent people. A bit of a standard, I would suppose, perhaps even a bit cliche, but the music is where the ideas and messages are brought to full fruition.

And these guys aren't too bad. With their first song coming in with the title Please, it gave out a nice texture with a light strumming and somewhat begging vocals over the sound of drums, keys, and a back-up guitar sound that was more riveting. Definitely an odd sound, but one that was nice to hear. Suffice came in next, getting more cutting and angry in both sound and singing. A bit of a move between calm singing than breaking to an outburst with a scream plays out to good effect.

Together continues forth the industrial rock sound continues on with a bit of ambient effects. Also, the keys struck in the song add a twist; and the synths within makes the song better in itself. And Assimilate definitely has a more gruesome feel to it. Away with the almost whining like lyrics, and insert more of an uncaring, shouting to the Heavens psychopath kinda voice paired with a blended mix of guitar and drum work was excellent and refreshing.

Oh, and I should also mention the bi-polar attitude of the songs. Though each one has a unique sound to itself, each track likes to fuck around in a million different ways. There's also a nice little cutting technique they use; one sound will be playing, it immediately stops, and another sound emerges. It catches me off guard, and was displayed in the next song, Within, as well (just listen around the minute and a half mark to minute fifty mark, and you'll get the idea).

This Is Your Master advances the industrial rock feel. I think the six members of the band all contributing to the overall output of the musical selection works well in their favor. Though the songs have sort of the same musical feel, each one is different in its own sense.

I really liked Fall Eye. The quieter nature of the song along with the nice electronic notes side by side made for one of the more calm songs on the album. Decent stuff right here. Though, that peace that reigned for a little over seven minutes fell through once Dark took over with more guitar oriented subtleties. Though, Vestibule really brought back the calm ego, which was nice.

Sea of Drepsea had a really nice intro drive that culminated a deep ambient pulse to it followed along with fast paced drums that led right into the minute mark which drove out guitar work. I really enjoyed that introductory note, and though it really didn't make as much of a return as it possibly could've in the song, it was lovely to hear. And, Drown in Elation finished off the album, using all the previous tactics to good technique.

And, well, this isn't a bad debut album by far. They definitely have strength in numbers, and with those numbers comes a certain creative energy that drives out a nice sound. Emerging from Illinois, don't be shocked if they soon take over the world. A bit of an exaggeration in that last sentence, but, still, keep an eye on these guys. - Brutal Resonance

"Review: Programmable Animal 'The New Babylon'"

Dial in to the "New Babylon"

With a handful of successful releases already under their belt courtesy of their Bandcamp page, Joliet, Illinois Industrial juggernaut Programmable Animal released their latest effort in May, and it's already paving the way to new heights, building on an already plentiful sonic catalog -- an engine moving ever forward.

As the first of seven tracks, "Trapped" is an all-encompassing, face-melting shot of pure adrenaline right from the outset. With its initial, driving rhythms, dark atmosphere, and dual male/female vocals, "Trapped" is (perhaps ironically) freeing in all the best possible ways. For any listeners familiar with the band's previous work, this is definitely a step up musically in terms of the richness and texture of the audio tapestry that the band brings together. Shades of mid-90's Nine Inch Nails intermingle with late-90's KoRN and Coal Chamber to give listeners a powerful introduction to the "New Babylon" of the modern-day Industrial Revolution.

Out with the old, in with the new

As the title track, "The New Babylon" lives up to, and well exceeds any hype one would associate with the namesake of an album. The slow, down-tuned drawl of bass creeps slowly as mesmerizing female vocals introduce the track. The tempo and intensity pick up, as the gritty vocals of lead singer Anthony Wonaitis permeate. Musically, along with the heaviness and fervor, there is also the subtle nuance of Middle Eastern influences that harken back to the Babylon of old.

Over the last few years, Programmable Animal have certainly found the right frequency, hitting their stride and stepping into their prime (or primal, as it were). The band have continued to toil and hone their craft in recent years, and it certainly shows on this latest release. With the introduction of slower tempos, dual male/female vocals, and the experience that only comes with the passage of time, the sum and the parts have reached their peak on "The New Babylon" in a way that's as flawless as it is feral. - Evan Morgan

"Programmable Animal - The New Babylon"

I've been following Programmable Animal's ascension in sound for their past two releases, Drepsea and their self titled EP Programmable Animal. While I have always been one to say that there is a massive amount of talent within the now five-piece outfit, I always felt as if they were missing the mark by a smidge. The biggest blight I saw in their previous productions was the quality of the music. I stated in the review for their self titled EP that some of the songs had so much going on all at once that the overall sound became quite marred. However, 2016 seems to be casting a different spell for Programmable Animal.

The New Babylon is this industrial rock outfit's 2016 output which was released on May 25th. While the overall theme of the album has been explored dozens of times in the past (it focuses on an abusive relationship wherein hope is incoming), I believe the exotic sounds that emerge from The New Babylon sheds a glorious but violent neon light on the subject. However, even before listening to the album, the texture of the cover art can explain the whole album.

A cracked and crooked picture frame lies either on a concrete floor or hung up on a wall. The black and white photo within the frame showcases a picture perfect American home in the background; a nice little, cozy 50's looking house, a white pickett fence, and a meticulously mowed lawn. IN front of the house, however, is a small girl that looks wizened beyond her ears being held by the Programmable Animal logo in a protective manner. It's almost as if the logo is the hope, The New Babylon, for the one being abused bringing her to a new life. Anyway, enough analysis and onto the music.

Easily enough you can decipher the meaning behind 'Trapped' just by referencing back to the theme of the album. As succulent vocals beckon forth from bass guitarist and back up vocalist Kristen Hodges, frontman Anthony Wonaitis then comes in after screaming and yelling. The dueling vocals make it sound as if the two are arguing in the music, telling the exposition of this story as we make our way through. A dirty, dark and sludgy industrial dredge creeps along through the song thanks in large part to Kris Dubenic's drum work.

In between each of the full songs there are little breaks from the chaos and 'Our New Birth' is the first of many. Eerie ambient work which reminds of a space ship descending from the sky plays out over plucked chimes and leads right into the next and title track 'The New Babylon'.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the song yet, it appeared on our first free compilation BRUTAL RESONANCE: PHASE ONE. A very chilled out electronically charged rhythm flows out for the first minute or so until rolling guitars and drums take over the song alongside whisper screams. It's almost like a build up of anger until the nosiey and lawless chorus takes over. Follow that pattern one more time straight to a soft, dreamy lead out and 'The New Babylon' makes one hell of a track.

'Under the Stairs' was a small dark ambient track that played with more of those gorgeous sci-fi sounding synths I described in 'Our New Birth'. I swear this band could probably start a dark ambient side project and easily get signed. Though short in length, I see no tropes, I feel a quasi-spiritualism flowing through the song, and the electronics sound fantastic.

'Alone' is the first song on the album that is softer and quieter, playing out more like a soft rock song. The rhythms and echo on Wonaitis' chords are well done and tinges of electronics come along every now and again. Before, when I mentioned the title track led off on a dreamy note, I think 'Alone' picked up off that and continued. Mentioning Wonaitis' voice once more, he does a swell job at making his persona sound tortured and distraught.

'A Glimpse of Hope' is very uplifting and heavenly in comparison to most of the other tracks on the album. Although is does play fairly well into standards of drone sounds, it wasn't too long and served its purpose as a transition into the final song 'Help is Coming'.

Slowly led in through ambient undertones, chilling nature-sounding noises in the background, and acoustic guitar, the rest of the songs follows as Wonaitis' voice and the drums roll in. The song rolls through a bit of bi-polar disorder as every minute or so the sound changes from soft notes to pounding guitar and drums, to grief and despair.

Programmable Animal put their all into this album and it payed off extremely well. The sound and noise that comes off perfectly reflects what they were trying to achieve with the album. The themes of being trapped in abuse to escaping that horrible reality was expertly reflected in both the song writing and lyrics. But, what more could I say? The only real way to experience this album is by listening to it yourself and that is highly advised.

Currently, The New Babylon is only available in a digital version for a mere $5 with physical copies soon to come. So, stay tuned for more. - Brutal Resonance - Steven Gullota


Pinhead (Single 2017)
The New Babylon (2016)
Drepsea (2014)