The debut album from Brooklyn’s We Are Augustines is a record built around a family tragedy and acts like a sprawling adventure for the listener. Lead singer Billy McCarthy used his musical ability to tell the tale of his brother James, who over the course of recording died due to drug use.
It’s definitely a dark album; however it’s uplifting at times as well. They have built on the sort of New Jersey rock sound pioneered by Bruce Springsteen that you’d find in a Gaslight Anthem album. It’s more intricate though, McCarthy’s lyrics bite, the line from song ‘Book of James’ states ‘well I know we tried and you’re forgiven’. There’s a sense that the music is giving him a way to grieve and pay tribute to the people he has lost.
Ultimately this is a powerful album; there is more than just music here. There’s the sense that We Are Augustines could go on to become more than just an interesting first album with an emotional concept. They already sound like festival headliners, the scope of their music is intense and will reach out to a lot of people. With ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’ they have announced themselves to the world, they are not just another New York rock band but one that is ready to take on the world one heart break at a time.