Following the success of their critically acclaimed album Moo, You Bloody Choir, Augie March released Watch Me Disappear in 2008. The band then decided to go on what was described at the time as an ‘indefinite hiatus’. During that time, lead singer Glenn Richards released a solo album and moved from Melbourne to Tasmania in search of cheaper rent and the opportunity to set up a home recording studio.
Luckily the hiatus didn’t last forever and, enjoying their newfound independence, Augie March reunited to create their fifth studio album, Havens Dumb. Drawing upon themes of ‘times passing, loss, dislocation, distance, new hope and healthy anger’, this album showcases Augie March’s dreamy melodies, smooth harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics. Richards is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most poetic lyricists, and his songwriting on Havens Dumb further enhances this thought.
Despite its length, Havens Dumb is an easy listen, which only adds to its appeal. Opener, AWOL, sets the tone nicely for the rest of the album. First single, After The Crack Up,is a calming folk tune, although the introduction is hard to decipher. The pace then shifts slightly with rock tune, A Dog Starved. Father Jack and Mr T. is a captivating acoustic gem, which would be worthy of a place on a Best-Of album in years to come. One of the best tracks on Havens Dumb is Definitive History, featuring a haunting, yet beautiful melody and powerful lyrics. Such is the strength of this album though that many of the tracks could be considered a favourite.
Although Havens Dumb doesn’t break any new musical ground for Augie March, it delivers their smooth indie rock sound which we have come to know so well. A triumphant comeback album which will draw you in from start to finish.