Augustines - Augustines

Whilst obviously somewhat dark at moments, it comes loaded with joyous and celebratory sounds.

Label: Votiv/Caroline

Rating:

With their debut, We Are Augustines lay their beaten, bloodied hearts on the line. After years of hardship and pain, and a story of life quite unlike any other, their ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’ saw three men learning how to try and repair their souls. It was a brutal, honest portrayal of the hardest of times, and it gave their band the kind of chance it had long deserved.

Now, having shed their former guise somewhat, the newly-titled Augustines prove that they’ve also shed that old weight from their shoulders. With their last album, they garnered a loyal fan base, willing to listen to their troubles and open up their arms. This time, with their newest album, the band seem to want to give something back, and whilst obviously somewhat dark at moments, it comes loaded with joyous and celebratory sounds.

There are songs like ‘Cruel City’ with its shiver-inducing choral backing vocals that burst into life with lines like, ‘I’ll still reach for you in the dark’, whilst tracks like ‘Walkabout’ showcase the tender, intricate side of the band’s power, with a delicate, piano-led crescendo soundtracking the pleas of our protagonist.

Granted, thanks to Billy McCarthy’s roughened vocals and ever-present scars, their new songs still bristle with emotion and intensity. There’s a certain familiarity of his voice that will always hark back to their debut. Yet, their sophomore record somehow bears that sense of relief, that sense of elation, but most importantly, that sense of hope that seemed so impossible the first time around. After all, it could only ever be found when coming to the end of a very dark tunnel, which is something that Augustines seem to have managed.