Reviews:: Augie March Moo, You Bloody Choir

Augie March is an interesting story. Despite being one of the most popular Australian imports (which helps make this become Australia day on herohill, as we are sitting down with Dappled Cities in a few hours), and receiving a shockingly high score from Pitchfork for their Moo, You Bloody Choir record, the band couldn’t get US distribution. With major labels snapping up any band that turns pages on the blogs, I’m surprised it took until now for Jive to release the record.

Augie March is a piano heavy quintet that uses beautiful melodies and clever wordplay to hook you, and won’t let go. Unlike so many piano band front men, you never once get the impression Glenn Richards thinks he above the people he’s singing to. He doesn’t sing down to you, despite Beatles melodies and beautiful harmonies other bands would kill for, nor does he dismiss the seriousness of his songwriting with any Foldien slips.

The album opener, One Crowded Hour, will turn the most skeptical critic into a fan. With the aid of a simple guitar riff, Richards delivers a heartfelt expression of confusion and honesty, mixed with a nice piano line. Crafting melody after melody, the band seems to find the words and sounds to fit almost any moment. Whether it’s the sun going down, back deck barbecue vibe of Victoria's Secrets or the winter time walk to work, hunkered into your coat warmth of the Cold Acre, this record has staying power. Like many piano records, I found this album could have dropped a song or two, but even the songs I was indifferent to were still worth the listen.

I was very impressed by the risks they took on the record; when they worked (like the banjo driven back bone of Thin Captain Crackers which is probably my favorite track on the record) but even when then fell short (the “rocker” Just Passing Through). The band obviously isn’t trying to play it safe and find a radio friendly riff that they can replicate until they flood the airwaves, and the variety they showed on this record makes me think we’ll be hearing from them for a long time.

MP3:: Thin Captain Crackers
MP3:: One Crowded Hour

web site :: myspace :: more tracks

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