Augie March
Moo, You Bloody Choir


4.5
superb

Review

by upagainstthewall USER (10 Reviews)
April 19th, 2009 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Augie March are beginning to make language and song so vile and necessary.

Australian quintet Augie March have long since mastered the notion of deserted sense. If you haven’t heard them yet, you’re Missing In Action, but the March's third album, Moo You Bloody Choir, is as noble a starting point as any.

For those of you familiar with this Stylus fave however, Moo You Bloody Choir will prove more a refining and continuation of the band’s brand of Outback cliff-gazing than a fresh start. Their adoration of antiquated song structures and Beatles-derived harmonies retains its luster here; there’s plenty of sky, sea-salt, and grit, sanded-down to a glass fine point in Glenn Richards’ jellyfish voice and the band’s well-honed arrangements. In short, Moo trades in the kind of ‘old-hat’ whose fabric still feels fresh, soft to the head and heart no matter how home-spun its origins.

Opener and first single, “One Crowded Hour,” is all but the distillation of this sound. Atop a gently ringing guitar and a muffled chorus of “ooh”s, Richards finds love within a bar’s candle-gloom. He gains focus as the piano and electric keys enter the supple fray. “Now should you expect to see something that you haven’t seen / In somebody you’ve known since you were sixteen.” Richards’ quaint poesy is at the helm here, as always. His language is stumbling and broken, but sanded around the verbs and all those patient diphthongs; that’s his command. Given his obvious songwriting talent, it’s nice to hear the band clear the floor for a while and allow him room to maneuver his plum-soft voice into the band’s restraint.

Elsewhere, “Stranger Strange” floats odd and bountiful on hovering keystrokes and dual guitars, billowed by Kiernan Box’s expert string arrangements. If “Mother Greer” sounds like The Replacements got stuck in a hailstorm in Nebraska and decided to swell out an aching country-pop jaunt as lightning struck the lights out, then “Just Passing Through” is the band taking pitchforks to the cows and burning down their erstwhile midnight home. “Honey Month” is a steamy Dixieland swoon cum three AM waltz, and “Thin Captain Crackers” feeds on dry banjos and Richards’ slow-tongued delivery. As with so much of the material on Moo, it’s reminiscent of great stretches of the band’s work, but divergent enough to make it another favorite instead of just another lump in a pile.

In many ways, Moo is as direct a shot as you’ll ever get at Augie March (though at over sixty-six running minutes, Richards still has an ear to bend). “Bottle Baby,” for example, stumbles nakedly on piano and acoustic guitar, giving Richards again the space he needs to really stretch himself out properly, both vocally and lyrically. Cryptic, inscrutable: “So I don’t blame you / It’s my foot in my shoe / And I seem to have easily filled it.” Odd snatches of word from elsewhere sneak up into the song, though they don’t belong: “I wasn’t so drunk / That I didn’t hear you dreaming.” Was it that way, really: “Your story’s a small one / Your goods have no buyers / Your parents are raising your children.” He could be our Dylan or our Drake, as we drink our draught, but that’s so inane. Something critics say. He’s his own monolith, which is ever taller, the shadow or the tower, a throat given bellow or the trees in the forest.

Indeed, Richards and Augie March are beginning to make language and song so vile and necessary. Something missing, something accrued in loss, something still twitching after it’s severed. Their songs are a spore of wind and spit you can feel or cold-shoulder at your choosing. They are that lost limb, foul lawless heart, that nameless itching, and it’s about ***ing time we found a band worthy of our scratching.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Fire Away
April 19th 2009


293 Comments


I've only heard 'Sunset Studies' and I like it. I can't stand One Crowded Hour off this though.

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Man, 'One Crowded Hour' is epic.

Vooligan
April 19th 2009


3541 Comments


Never really listened to these guys, i remember One Crowded Hour off the hottest 100 a couple of years ago and thought it was pretty good.
Sweet review though dude.

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks mate, yes the Hottest 100 was what got me listening to them at first.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2009


22463 Comments


Fantastic review James, although you will ave to explain to me what 'poesie' means...

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Davey!

That would be a spelling mistake unfortunetly, 'poesy' is the word that I meant, meaning: The art of poetic composition etc

I shall edit that now!

AtavanHalen
April 19th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album has some nice songs but is a bit of a snoozefest.

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought this would be right up your alley Atavan, though i must have no clue

AtavanHalen
April 19th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really liked this when I was like 15, but I find it pretty bland now.

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's fair enough, overplaying is always a problem too.

AtavanHalen
April 19th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thing is, this record wasn't really overplayed at the time.

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh no, I just meant on a personal basis, Yes commercial radio hardly touched this apart from Triple J, though they are not commercial

AtavanHalen
April 19th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They may as well be these days.

And I didn't overplay this record, either.

Vooligan
April 19th 2009


3541 Comments


actually i would have picked this as a David special as well.

gaslightanthem
April 19th 2009


5209 Comments


because he tends to like bad music?

AtavanHalen
April 19th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You know I only listen to hard rock, Betty. This doesn't sound anything like Clint Boge

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha, yes true with Kings of Leon and MGMT dominating last years 100.

I suppose things just grow old.

Vooligan
April 19th 2009


3541 Comments


You know I only listen to hard rock, Betty. This doesn't sound anything like Clint Boge

Nawww, you're so cute when you're being sarcastic.


AtavanHalen
April 19th 2009


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

because he tends to like bad music?


Eat a dick, Soulja Boy. Your music's wack.

upagainstthewall
April 19th 2009


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BAA DING DING



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