AUGUSTINES – ‘Augustines’
(Out Feb 3rd on Caroline Records)
COME THE END OF THE NEW RECORD BY AUGUSTINES, their decision for releasing a self titled album is relatively simple: to re-emphasize and intensely display their new moniker across the Indie Rock scene. Dropping the ‘We Are’ raised eyebrows but from the off, it all makes sense. The chirpy bells, chimes and digital pops of ‘Intro (I Touch Imaginary Hands)’ is an elevating euphoric experience of floating through zero-g Indie, while ‘Cruel City’ possesses the jungle rhythm of a Phil Collin’s jam or The Lion King on Broadway with group vocal chants that will leave listeners wondering where indeed the lion sleeps tonight.
‘Nothing To Lose But Your Head’ brings to life the wild fantasy of Eddie Vedder or Chris Cornell taking over vocals in U2. The song is a modern ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and Augustines stay aboard the U2 vessel on ‘Weary Eyes’ with its blinding blend of With or Without You and Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes. The band spawns a Killer’s power rock monster with ‘Don’t You Look Back’ before hiding its teeth on ballad ‘Walkabout’, which starts out all Coldplay then evolves into a Springsteen hymn of rock worship. What works here are the cuts that rage with sorrow, channelling emotion to dig deep and find the courage to change personal behavior. Like ‘Now You Are Free’ which is their top 40 hit, uncovering a blossoming mastery of the slow Rock arts.
While the landscape of this album is overly cultivated, Augustines’ most yielding crops are their ballads and slow rock cuts. So as the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the Indie race. (7)