When Kyle Jenkins sings ‘I fell in love with your methadone eyes, upon the ground where we lied’, it gives you an idea of the territory that Suicide Swans are operating in – warts and all human emotion and experience. It’s tempered with a sympathetic and empathetic casting of Augusta’s characters and presented in a widescreen alt-country and country rock vista.
The Toowoomba, QLD group work in the sweet spot between Felice Brothers-styled ragged folk, a more organic-sounding take on The War On Drugs heartland indie rock vibe and a ghostly re-shaping of the spirit of The Band. The single ‘Horses’ burns and sparks with a searing guitar riff, kicking off the album with intent and purpose, like a rock ’n’ roll rallying cry. It’s a stellar start to an album that doesn’t let up in terms of the level of songwriting and the way the band play with both grit and sensitivity. There’s atmosphere aplenty as they dial back the fervour on ‘Let Me Be’, framing the song’s verses with piano and gauzy textures. Elsewhere their propensity for big hook-laden choruses gives the album a wonderful sonic push and pull , with soaring peaks and melancholic valleys populating the songs.
On all levels, Augusta is an exceptional sophomore album
*Check out their vinyl crowdfunding campaign for their next album la jungla, due out in 2018.