"The Progress was a band from 2001 to 2008. We were four grade school friends who learned how to play music (and our instruments) together. In our lifespan, we wrote two EP's and a LP. We spent the majority of our time as a band winning the hearts of guys in their 20's and getting booked on metal shows that we didn't make any sense playing. Live and learn".
Honestly, I cannot remember where/when exactly I first came across this band.... It was definitely in my first few years of college when I started to really get into their first EP Golden State (2004), which later led me to their full length Merit. They share a bit in common with Counterfit, playing catchy and angular shit, and they were both on Negative Progression Records. I remember talking to Evan about The Progress briefly when Damiera came though in 2007 and he was playing bass for them, but it was a drunken "hey I really like your old band..." Yeah, lame and embarrassing...
Anyways, despite seeing Evan in numerous incarnations (Damiera, Into it. Over it.), I don't really have much else on this band. Although I think part of the reason I was so inclined to post on them was the short bio they gave (above). Being a part of a band from high school to college with the same group of friends, learning your instruments together, and playing shows that you had no business being on were all points I could relate to in a waaay too familiar sense (like on tour this summer when a 6'7'' dude in a floorpunch tank top from NJ talked my ear off on how good The Progress was). But I also think it shows in their music. There are great dual vocals from Evan and the "lead" singer Eric(?), that really emphasize the conversational aspect of their music and really showcases how they were working out these issues like singing, learning an instrument, or putting a song together, while still remaining autonomous. All of the members display a level of musical skill, specifically in the other guitar player's lead parts (check out "Backwards From Ten" on Merit, or the boner-riff in "Straight Shot From St. Louis" on the Golden State EP). I know I'm beginning to champion a certain aesthetic here on this blog, but I think that with the recent interest in this type of music/bands, it would be a crime not to include The Progress, even if the material is sparse and a bit tough to find.
Also, be sure to check out Evan's new project Into it. Over it. The Snack Town 7" he did with Castevet has a great song called "Summerville, SC" that really sounds Progress-y. And if you see IIOI and like The Progress, request a Progress song! Apparently he'll do "Merit", but for fear of having another "that guy" episode like I did when he was in Damiera, I backed off and kept my mouth shut when he came and played this summer.
You can get their old demos and EP's here: http://theprogress.peekok.com
I'll post a video later, this library computer is giving me some problems.