We Are Augustines

Billy McCarthy knows well what it takes to withstand tough times, and he's poured all of his lessons learned into Arise Ye Sunken Ships, the excellent debut album from his new group We Are Augustines. McCarthy's first band, Pela, built up significant buzz for its anthemic brand of indie rock on both coasts before running aground amid bad record label breaks and worse luck on the road — two separate major tours were cut short due to freak stage accidents. At the same time McCarthy's band was unraveling, his incarcerated schizophrenic brother committed suicide while in solitary confinement. Instead of letting all these trials and tribulations break his spirit, McCarthy channeled them into a set of cathartic tunes that tackle victimization and self-doubt head on, beating back the darkness with bold and triumphant melodies. Deeply autobiographical songs chronicling his brother's struggle with mental illness ("Book of James," "Patton State Hospital") are balanced nicely by wider-lens portraits of everyday people in turmoil ("Headlong into the Abyss," "Chapel Song"), and it's all set to a densely layered yet instantly ingratiating brand of jagged-edge indie rock. With Band of Skulls. 18+. (Photo by Arwen Hunt)
Wed., April 4, 8 p.m., 2012

 
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