Augie March - Wings and hooves

Four years since the release of Strange Bird(2002)Augie March have released the much anticipated Moo, You Bloody Choir LP. Singer/songwriter Glenn was recording the demo for the song in the wee hours of the morning at his parent's place in Shepparton where he could hear the cows from the abattoir up the road crying out on their way to the slaughter, hence the original title (you can actually here the cows at the end of ‘ The Honey Month', just!). Edmond Ammendola (bass) doesn't want to "get inside Glenn's head nor would [he] want to be in there!," but can only imagine that there is a double meaning implied in the album title; "people really need to wake up to what's going on anywhere and everywhere in the world," he says.


Ammendola proclaims that Augie March are the "laziest band in the world, timing is everything and everyone tours a lot more than Augie March," he proclaims. At the end of 2003 they were skipping around the world, doing a few gigs in Dublin, supporting The Four of Us, a show in London with Karina Round, went to New York with Desert Rock, and in 2004 did a seven week tour supporting Gomez. Ammendola says it was "good exposure. It really opened doors in America for the band."


The first single from the album, ‘ One Crowded Hour', and ‘ Just Passing Through' were recorded in San Francisco while they were in America in 2004. The remaining twelve songs were recorded in Melbourne and Nagambie in country Victoria.


"The album has been difficult in its birth. Dave [drums] got beat up towards the end of last year just as ‘ One Crowded Hour' was about to be released. He was in hospital for two months so [we] didn't have any drums! So while touring was halted for another couple of months, Glenn wrote and recorded his own EP at home which was released at the end of 2005," he explains.


One Crowded Hour' gives a clear idea as to where the band is headed and where they're not. According to Ammendola the new album is ‘sparser' than previous releases.


"Glenn's plugged in and listening and reflecting to things that people are not usually aware of and this album is simpler compared to Strange Bird (2002). Glenn hasn't reached his song writing peak yet, but this album is the best [the band has] produced yet. It's a lot less dense than Strange Bird. I've just tried to hold back and let the songs talk for themselves,"


Of his own contribution to the album Ammendola describes himself and Dave as a ‘one trick rhythm section'.


"What we do best is build over a period of time, but what we do need to learn to do is sing so we can do justice to the songs live."


The tracks are largely inspired by Melbourne/Old Melbourne and other places in Australia that the band has visited. ‘ Clockwork' is inspired by St Kilda while ‘ Mt Wellington Reverie' describes the greater Hobart region. While there are literal moments within the songs, mostly it's clear as to why Ammendola tries to stay out of Glenn's head. It's impossible to tell exactly what Glenn is thinking as he is not a literal songwriter.


The album is a string-woven epic which needs to be listened to in it's entirety but it is by no means boring. From the country lilt of ‘ Mother Greer' to the Gershwin-esque swing of ‘ The Honey Month', Augie March have come a long way since they were thrown into a studio with a big name producer (Paul McKercher) in 2000. Augie March are about to start doing some work (in Ammendola's words.) and will be touring throughout April and May nationwide.

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