Mercury Program Chez Viking

Mercury Program Chez Viking
The hiatus did them well. In a perpetual state of "rest" since 2003, the four members of the Mercury Program return with Chez Viking, featuring seven spirited instrumentals filled with intriguing, melodious highs. Unlike countless other voiceless outfits ― Explosions In The Sky comes to mind ― the Mercury Program build their songs around sparkling guitar sections and bright Rhodes and vibraphone parts, rather than creating dark, moody pieces that swell from nothing to 11. Both have their place, but this quartet have found a way to differentiate themselves in an engaging way without emulating the successful formula of others. "Fluorescent Laces" is a lighter offering, with a lounge-y piano part and bouncy bass line. The title track showcases the band's intensity, with pounding drums and screaming guitar lines, which eventually give way to shimmering vibraphone rings. Their six-year slumber has produced their most captivating album to date. (Lovitt)