Augie March Moo, You Bloody Choir

The time difference between Australia and North America seems more extreme to Antipodean band Augie March. The delay between last album Strange Bird being released in those two continents was more than two years, and while that has been cut to closer to 18 months for its successor, it still feels like far too long. Moo, You Bloody Choir has already been a huge hit in their native Australia, and while they probably won’t hit those heady heights here, this is still one of the year’s best albums. Sounding not unlike The Bends-era Radiohead mixed with Crowded House’s folkier moments, their song arrangements are, unfortunately, a little more conventional this time around. The band aren’t shy about giving their songs time to develop and, for the most part, it doesn’t backfire despite the majority of the album’s tracks flirting with, or surpassing, the five-minute mark. They like to build atmosphere within their songs, with much of that coming from singer Glenn Richards’ poetic lyrics. Moo, You Bloody Choir is a subtle record that doesn’t try too hard to win over your heart. But it will succeed thanks to its many charms. (Jive/Zomba)