The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world







To be painfully honest sometimes the hype from the beard-twitching alternative press just puts you off before you hear a note and I’m as guilty as the rest having sat on this album for a good six months of not more…

Two years on from the critically acclaimed debut ‘Rise Ye Drunken Ships’ comes the second self-titled outing from Billy McCarthy and Co. It’s full of smooth but boozy rock that reeks of late nights and sweat and yet still has the musical grandeur that almost seems to mythologise what might for lesser mortals just be lost weekends.

Opener ‘Cruel City’ comes across like Springsteen via Paul Simon, it is Gaslight Anthem territory but purposely more lush, almost revelling in the polished sound.  And that really already sums it up for us – these are good songs, but they don’t rock in a hard rocking way, and they are far cooler than the songs we normally love but there is something beguiling here, I’ll stop short of saying important like many critics have.

‘Nothing to Lose But Your Heard’ comes across like Counting Crows doing U2, and you realise that it’s that similar grittiness versus rich orchestration. It continues of course.  Songs like ‘Don’t Look Back’ and ‘Kid You’re on Your Own’ just stick with you like good songs do though again there’s that smooth production where you find yourself wanting more authentic grime.

The rest of the album plays out as you might expect and will have the hipsters and alternative press drooling, but for us as good as the songs are, they are at arm’s length from the kind of reality you feel is really behind the words. I don’t dislike it, on the contrary it was far more enjoyable than the enforced listening absence suggests, but at the end of the day the problem I have with a lot of modern Rock of this ilk is that it is often far too sanitised and stylised for its own good: like everything in the eighties sounds overproduced and keyboards grate this is the sound of this decade and lush as it is it’s too clean and shallow a sound.

Add The Augustines to the list of bands I underappreciate like Arcade Fire… It’s a good album but I like to think the future of Rock has a little more passion and power.



by Leslii Phillips