Augustines - VOTIV
FILTER Grade: 83%
By Mischa Pearlman on February 7, 2014
While Augustines’ debut full-length Rise, Ye Sunken Ships was inextricably tied to tragedy— its songs inspired by the suicide of singer Billy McCarthy’s brother—this self-titled second album sees the trio moving on from those dark, desperate times. McCarthy’s vocals are still as bruised and fragile as they were in 2011, but now they’re infused with a sense of optimism. “Cruel City,” for example, is a fond and forlorn farewell to New York, but its anthemic atmospherics brim with inspiring hope. Similarly, both “Nothing To Lose But Your Head” and “This Ain’t Me” teeter on the edge of a deep abyss, but defiantly refuse to look down. Elsewhere, “Walkabout” and “The Avenue” are the two most tender moments here—slow, poignant ballads drenched in melancholy—but they, too, look towards the light at the tunnel’s end. It all combines to form a truly sublime album of heart-wrenching, heart-warming beauty.