Moo, You Bloody Choir - Augie March
Russell Degnan

Enigmatic, is perhaps the best word to describe Augie March. Their first album was a brilliant bolt from the blue, their second, no more than a little distant rumbling, before they seemed to disappear. Earlier this year, they returned again, with a typically well wrought album of full of depth and subtlety. But this shouldn't suprise, really. They are not a band of young kids belting out tunes for fun, but highly talented, if slightly sentimental musicians. Although they do seem to do what they do at random times, when they they do it, they do it well.

While Augie March do follow the tradition of other Melbourne folk-pub-rock bands -- the more famous types being Crowded House and Paul Kelly -- they also bring to it a high-brow literary streak and the sort of esoteric subject matter normally found in the Melbourne blogosphere. Few, if any bands, after all, reference so many of Melbourne's lesser places and history, like 19th century figures, Redmond Barry and Marcus Clarke, or of waking up under the talking statues of Dustan and Bolte after drinking too much at the Exford.

The bad side of all this is that this side of Melbourne is not disparaged for tedium for nothing. While Augie March paint a rich tapestry, it is better experienced in the confines of a pub, the songs interspersed with the band's banter, than through a CD better suited to the sedation of small infants. Don't get me wrong, it is a good album; just slow.

Track Highlights
Mother Greer - Smooth, grooving little song that is for rocking to. Back and forth that is.
Thin Captain Crackers - Funky little song of indeterminate meaning, but the most reminiscint of their first album.
Bottle Baby - Slow, dreamy song with minimal instrumentation but great heart.
Bolte and Dunstan Talk Youth - Perhaps I'm just a sucker for scales, perhaps for statuary, or perhaps for drunks. Good song though.

Finer Things 19th April, 2006 00:14:56   [#]