A lot has come between me and this review. When Autopsy sent me the album to check out a couple months ago I had a chance to give it just a couple listens before my external hard drive (which had most of my digital music on it) took a poop. While scraping my music back together, I got this album back and put it on my ipod to listen to it some more, but then I got distracted by new music from Snow Patrol, Bloc Party, Shiny Toy Guns, The Dears and The KIllers. Still, even during this flurry of new music from bands I’ve known and loved for years, my ipod kept shuffling in The Beauvilles as if playing the role of my conscience telling me to pay attention to these guys.
Now to be completely honest, another reason I didn’t immediately put something together for this album is that my first listen was not instantly favorable. The notes I jotted down were that “Broad Side Dead” was 2 minutes too long and that “The Last Hymn of The Glorious” (which for some reason keeps evoking Buckley’s version of “Grace” whenever I hear it) was 2 minutes too short. The other thing that was kinda bugging me was the level of the vocals in some songs. I’m a total lyrics junkie, if a song has lyrics I want to know what they are, and on more than a couple of the songs the lyrics got smothered by the guitars. Plus, I’d read that this album is comprised of songs inspired by events that occurred while touring and I wanted to hear what stories were being told.
Fast forward to the BDH show @ Dave’s Aqua Lounge. I was on my second drink when the band took the stage and I was instantly impressed with their live sound. Not only do they have a great vocalist, but the rest of the band it excellent, as well, with well layered guitars and standout drumming. Then it happened three songs in. I realized that I was singing along to “Coming Apart” and I started to realize that I kinda sucked for not having written this album up yet.
Since then I’ve been listening to them more regularly instead of just when they get shuffled into my earbuds, and I’m surprised by how much this album has grown on me, even the songs where it sounds like Shawn is just a bit too far away for me to make out. I’d have to say my faves on the album are “Prom Dress” for the cool percussion and the sexy drunk and dreamy sound, the catchy “Coming Apart” with Shawn’s sincere and emotional singing punctuated by what sounds like the whole band singing/chanting on the chorus, and “The Revival” which I find to be a kinda sexy with its lyrical urgency and heavy, even beat. Hell, I don’t even know what I was talking about when I noted that “Broad Side Dead” was too long. It’s not a bad song at all, in fact it’s a great song, like most of the songs on the album…even if I still wish there was more of the gorgeously haunting and breathy “Last Hymn”.
This is a great album by a local band done good that gets better with every listen and you should definitely check these songs out.