Augie March

Watch Me Disappear

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    6
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On their fourth album, after a stunning success with One Crowded Hour, the Australian band Augie March returned with a mix of somewhat simplistic mainstream sounds and more darkly tinged numbers characteristic of some of their earlier works. The album opens with the title track, a slightly menacing piece with some sweeping overtones highly reminiscent of the Panics. "Pennywhistle" goes a bit more mainstream, but is structurally similar to a Bruce Springsteen song for much of the duration. For a period after "Pennywhistle," the album starts to get a little more pedestrian and a little more experimental at the same time -- attempts at new rhythms that don't fit well with the vocals, experiments with additional, clashing bits of instrumentation that make the sound busy but not entirely complete. Towards the end, there's a stroke of a Dylan/Petty-styled romp in "The Glenorchy Bunyip," and another stab at a Panics' sound in the arrangements around "Dogsday" and "Lupus." The album ends in a fairly lackluster form with "The Devil in Me" and a sweeping string arrangement. Watch Me Disappear has its moments of brilliance, though the midsection is a bit gray. One can hope that in the future the band focuses more on the fuller, better-planned pieces like those at the beginning of the album.

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