REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha
New name, same sound Augustines follow up their debut album
Augustines - Augustines 6/10
Out 3rd February on Votiv/Caroline InternationalThere's something slightly endearingly retro sounding about Augustines, they seem to inhabit, without any care or sense of irony, that classic late 90s pop rock movement. A place where The Goo Goo Dolls, Train and Semisonic live happily and U2 are still sort of credible; it’s the gap in today's musical environment where Kodaline have been achieving reasonable success. It's emotive rock, songs that through structure, lyrics and vocals evoke an emotional response easily.
Cruel City is an excellent example of the, the choir backing vocals chorus creates a euphoric atmosphere and Billy McCarthy’s yearning vocals make you feel like you should care. Lead single
Nothing to Lose But Your Head is pretty much
Where the Streets Have No Name, the building guitar introduction and drums mimic the classic U2 song, listening to them side-by-side it’s an identical song. Whether this is an intentional homage or not, it doesn’t stop there,
Weary Eyes is a rehash of
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. There are some moments of true originality, the opening track
Intro (I Touch Imaginary Hands) is interesting musically, compared to the rest of the album it is very stripped down and quite electronic, a welcome break from the polished rock pop sound on the rest of the album, if they had developed this sound further the album could have been more engaging. Listening to this album is a bit like visiting a Museum of Contemporary Music and listening to their 90s rock collection, if you're into that kind of thing or simply enjoy uncomplicated rock pop then this could totally be for you. Musically it's not pushing any new boundaries but it's pleasant and there are a few big sing-a-long choruses but apart from that there's little to build a real connection with. Fans of their first album should find plenty here to enjoy and anyone looking for an updated American version of
The Joshua Tree should give it a listen.