Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Moo You Bloody Choir- Augie March

Moo You Bloody Choir is the intriguing third album from Melbourne band Augie March, the album was released in March 2006 and contained the bands commercial breakthrough One Crowded Hour. It's a record that speaks to the history and culture of Victoria, wrapped in the florid literal songwriting style of Glenn Richards. The album was a critical and commercial highpoint for the band and one in which they found it difficult to shy away from. One Crowded Hour is a lament of torment, almost like it's from the pen of author Saul Bellow, from whom the novel The Adventures of Augie March the band takes it's name. The classic tale of the outsider forever doomed to be unaccepted and castigated.

And for one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
And I sailed around all those bumps in the night
To your beacon in the gloom,
I thought I had found my golden September
In the middle of that purple June
But one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin.

Victoria's Secrets is another song with a rich lyrical texture, going back to the old Victorian age, another story of intrigue and mystery, the protagonist a wander who has travelled far and wide but perhaps a soul with a sinister intent. The desolate Cold Acre has a depressing tone, the idea of contemplating death with acceptance rather than defiance, there is an elegant feel to the song.

With my little bag, with my little dog
Who rests on my stomach, and barks at the oncoming fog
O but when I go with my lot in tow
Like a vampire carry my piece in the earth
To the place of my death, to the plots of my birth

The sunny veneer of Mother Greer masks something more caustic and sarcastic, but it's a brilliant riposte to Germaine Greer. The drunken laconic stroll of The Honey Mouth staggers along with blowsy horns and a soft vocal. The band then get their rock and roll defiance on with the stomping Just Passing Through. Bottle Baby is Richards at his most despairing best, the vices that control and destroy, he conveys the sense of the hopeless as good as any songwriter. The band in many ways were a victim of the success of this album, it caused a deep sense of unease, especially in Richards who felt the pressure to come up with another One Crowded Hour.

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