AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Augustana - All the Stars and Boulevards Album Cover

Augustana - All the Stars and Boulevards

Reviewed by
0.3
Augustana - All the Stars and Boulevards
Release Date: September 6, 2005
Record Label: Epic

Augustana vocalist Dan Layus croons “Are we gonna make it?” amidst falsetto “ooh”s in the choruses of the opening track on All the Stars and Boulevards, and by the end of the album, it’s easy to come up with an answer for him: yes. Perhaps he’s not even talking about the fate of his band, but that’s all I could think about while listening to Augustana’s debut—this band has the songs and the budget (a budget of “Epic” proportions, mind you) to make it big. Normally, bands which are tagged as possible mainstream successes aren’t exactly all that great (there are exceptions, of course). Make no mistake though: I would kill to hear bands like Augustana on the radio.

Playing a brand of mellow, laid back indie rock (think Days Away meets Travis meets Lovedrug), Augustana is pretty chill, but they don’t lack energy. Songs like “Bullets” and “Lonely People” have pretty aggressive, high-tempo choruses. Sure, there are ballads a-plenty, such as “Wasteland,” and “California’s Burning” but Augustana does a nice job mixing it up tempo-wise. The vocals sort of remind me of the guy from Our Lady Peace (or Travis? Train?) at times (“Stars and Boulevards”), or some band like that. I don’t really listen to the radio enough to tell you who exactly the vocalist sounds like—but I know it’s someone. I just can’t put my finger on it. The music is pretty much driven by jangly, clean/lightly distorted guitars and slightly delayed, reverb-ed leads, and it seems that everything gets kicked up a notch in the choruses, as layers of guitars fill in, amplifying and thickening up the sound. Pianos make brief appearances on the CD as well. I bet Augustana has either those nice Orange amps or vintage Fender stuff—maybe that will help describe the guitar tones/the vibe on the album for all you guitar geeks out there.

I definitely have some favorite tracks on the album. The choruses of “Bullets” and “Hotel Roosevelt” (a very Lovedrug-esque song, vocally) are downright huge, with urgent vocals making them some of the more attention-grabbing songs on the CD. I bet there won’t be a single review of this album that doesn’t mention “Boston,” a beautiful ballad led by a playful, flowing piano, complete with falsettos, interleaving guitar lead arpeggios, and very subtle electric keyboards. “Feel Fine” opens with a great, spacey guitar lead over mid-tempo instrumentation, only to give way to a stripped down, slowed-down verse, though the verse is eventually layered with bending, echo-y clean guitars. The cool intro riff comes back throughout the song and is just a treat. “Sunday Best” is my favorite song—it’s an acoustic track with light drumming that features a mandolin lead and some electric organ work; it is simply gorgeous.

Augustana is a band that I would love to see get huge. I find it kind of weird that they’re making a splash in our scene, but I’m all for it. Good music is good music, and though I know I keep saying they have a “mainstream” sound, they’re not like Default or Audioslave, or anything close to that. I think they have a tinge of “emo” in them, so please don’t be frightened off. Fans of Days Away will definitely like this band, especially with their beautiful, down to earth, organic sound, and I hope Epic pushes them hard. All the Stars and Boulevards sounds like the work of a very mature, experienced band, not a debut.
This review is a user submitted review from Rohan Kohli. You can see all of Rohan Kohli's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 14 of 14
11:27 PM on 12/30/05
#2
Ryan Imhof
Registered Member
Offline
User Info.
Ryan Imhof's Avatar
This band reminds me of the goo goo dolls for some reason. Good review Rohan. I find the Cd to be too mellow at times though. "Wasteland" is my favorite song.
02:27 AM on 01/07/06
#3
itstiffy
sucker for acoustic.
Offline
User Info.
itstiffy's Avatar
i want this album.

NOWWWWW!!!
02:56 PM on 01/07/06
#4
Blake Solomon
Leave a one-way note.
Offline
User Info.
Blake Solomon's Avatar
I love this album, its one of those that I can listen to and it reminds me of a certain time of my life, and to me, thats a very strong compliment.
04:59 PM on 01/07/06
#5
costello.
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
costello.'s Avatar
augustana is amazing
i saw them with switchfoot and eisley in november and basically fell in love
03:52 PM on 04/29/06
#6
singerman34
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
like the sound of these guys. theyre coming to town with the fray.
sunday best is the best song on the album. the vocals and the light guitar go perfectly together.
03:54 PM on 06/06/06
#7
twink_CCAB
Scott, vocals, CCAB
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
This cd has been in my car for months now. Good stuff. Good review.

"Put me on a plane, fly me to anywhere"
01:29 PM on 12/25/06
#8
vithu123
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
This album is grreat and these guys are my faves, they are my complete inspiration for the band i am forming right now,, i pretty much know every one of their songs by heart:P
10:22 AM on 06/24/07
#9
noisefloor1989
takin' names
Offline
User Info.
noisefloor1989's Avatar
The album's title track, "Bullets", and "Boston" are all beautifully constructed songs. I admire them for a genuine sense of flow, and solid piano appearances in a scene that usually wouldn't embrace it.
04:07 AM on 01/13/08
cereal4life
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
cereal4life's Avatar
Dangit Ronan, stop being a butt-head and attach a score to your reviews! Scared of copping flack for your reviews or something?
08:54 PM on 01/17/08
michelle!
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
michelle!'s Avatar
amazing band. i hope it make it big.
06:09 PM on 03/04/08
googirl8907
legalfreemusic.tumblr.com
Offline
User Info.
googirl8907's Avatar
I really enjoy this album. Too bad you don't hear more stuff like this on the radio.
11:14 PM on 07/13/08
bummm
Slave 2 tha booty
Offline
User Info.
bummm's Avatar
^^ Agreed.
04:11 AM on 11/14/09
introduction
You're not real musician!
Offline
User Info.
introduction's Avatar
anyone know why this review doesn't have a real score?

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
AP.net Podcast on iTunes
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate