Album Review: Augustines Hit All the Sweet Spots with Self-Titled Release
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The new Augustines album is out, and it’s everything that could be hoped for after dropping “Cruel City,” a single that’s impossible to play ad nauseum, and still in heavy rotation. Their sophomore release is full of the most joyful earnestness that we’ve heard in a long time. It speaks to the idea that, yeah, being optimistic can be painful, but it’s far better than the alternative.
It’s a gritty, life-driven, anthemic charge that hits all of the sweet spot harmonies, and then some. You know when you’re listening to a track and you really want it to hit that one pleasing note, but instead the music veers off in another direction? That’s not this. This album doesn’t just hit the notes you want, it plows throughs them, and then barrages you with melodies you didn’t think could even happen in the course of four minutes. Really.
There isn’t one particular characteristic that dominates Augustines. The vocals, the drums, the build up, the background choir noise – it’s perfectly aligned in each song, and doesn’t ever feel forced. And it’s fueled by passion, that much is obvious.
“It’s all about being inclusive,” lead singer Billy McCarthy says. “Interaction is the lifeblood of what we think music is.”
Augustines play the Bowery Ballroom on Monday night; we’ve seen them once as an opener, and can assure you that this headlining gig is not one you want to miss.