Label: Votiv, Caroline International
Augustines self-titled album is about to become front-page news again with the release of next single ‘Now You Are Free’ out this Monday (April 28). The 3 piece from Brooklyn offer their Anberlin-esque sound for the second time. First album ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’ (2011), was a harder, rockier version of what Augustines have now mellowed into.
The tinkling transcendent yet raw sound of the intro (I Touch Imaginary Hands) introduces you to the beautiful angelic sound of this album, and all its sharper edges.
From the uplifting gang vocals and Jamaican vibes of Cruel City to the stadium rock feeling of Nothing To Lose But Your Head, or Kid You’re On Your Own‘s ghostly synths, vocalist Billy McCarthy offers up his striking vocal chords on a plate.
Next single Now You Are Free is about “ghosts and hope, and driving from someplace that has been holding you back for far too long” explains McCarthy. And you can actually feel the catharsis seeping through the speakers, as the harmonies lend themselves beautifully to the melody provided by the soft drums and subtle guitars.
Walkabout unfurls with sombre piano, (the band’s current UK headline tour is named Walkabout) and a higher vocal range is displayed with the reverb turned way up.
Album closer Hold Onto Anything is unlocked with a wail, only fitting for the band’s pretty emotional affair. The military beat and McCarthy’s rapsy vocals are transformative. It’s a bit folky, a bit rocky, a bit Mumford-y, and while the album may not quite pack the punch it needed to, it’s simple beauty is enough to convert even the most metal of us.