August River Band – Thank You Pain | Cinematic Folk Fusion
Today we take a look at the debut album by Brisbane-based folk-rock group August River Band. The ten-track record titled ‘Thank You Pain’ is an epic journey that explores the meaning and purpose of pain and suffering in our lives, showing how it drives us to act accordingly and grow stronger. Featuring odd-time riffs, emotive string performances and powerful drum rhythms, the band reels in listeners through their eclectic blend of sounds in a beautiful and captivating way.
Thank You Pain Tracklist
The album is introduced with a slightly dark acoustic track called Hallowed Be explains the singer-songwriter Eev Ferreira’s voyage of introspection, and how it led him to start writing the record. August River Band seems to be inspired by folk and metal music, owing to the aggressive riffs and progressive beats of the track. They’ve created a unique world that showcases their masterful compositional skills with only a few acoustic instruments and starts off the album with a mood that is perfectly suited to the title.
Angels begins with a melancholic string melody and guitars, supported by a hard-hitting drum rhythm. Ferreira’s emotive vocals on this track have a hint of nostalgia in them, and as the track progresses, he seems to open up a bit and lets his feelings out more freely. The instrumental outro is surely the highlight of the track where all the melodies come in together and enhance the soul-stirring atmosphere.
Starting off with a lively acoustic guitar rhythm, track three Mr Sky shares an uplifting story about celebration. Folksy melodies over a simple drum beat accompany the soft vocal performance beautifully. Pain and pleasure are two sides of the coin and the band explores their experience with the latter here through intricate lyricism.
A relatively long instrumental intro gets the listener accustomed with the mood of In My Arms. As the title may suggest, the song is about love, about the search for it as well as the desire to live without it. Pain is inevitable, so why go ahead and initiate something that might hurt others as well as yourself? In their own special way, the band conveys this feeling through masterful storytelling and emotive melodies.
Hero begins with a dynamic guitar performance along with a violin over an odd-timed rhythm. It’s one of the more simple tracks on the album, with relatable and engaging lyrics. – “I know you believe that I’m the guy to pull you through / Whether I look or I don’t look at the pretty girls in the street / I’m not your hero, I’m not you white shining night”. Honesty is the foundation of every relationship, and it’s best to realize that sooner rather than later.
Track six, The Gift brings back the progressive rock-influenced structure August River Band knows and loves. This track is driven by an upbeat guitar rhythm, with a bright tone throughout that really stands out. I really liked the instrumental hook section. Additionally, the dynamic pauses towards the end add some more depth to the lyrics.
On this album, the instruments used are quite dry, and their acoustic nature makes them even more intimate. It’s one of the tracks with some processing and that’s what makes it stand out in its own way from the rest. Upbeat melodies with a lot of sentiment support hard-hitting lyrics that explain that nothing lasts forever, nothing truly remains – cherish living in the moment as much as possible.
Cupid’s 45 plays with the drama of love through confident yet playful lyrics. Now as we near the end of the album, it seems as though the feelings associated with pain and suffering have evolved into something more charismatic and mature. With almost a musical theatre-like composition, the band tells this story in a very compelling way. Gerrard Kerr does a fine job with the drums on this track. An absolute pleasure to listen to.
The band moves into an even more conversational tone on this next track, Change Your Stars – full of hope and optimism. A reminder that life is exactly what you make it, no matter what you ‘think’ the future entails. – “Change your stars, you don’t have to love like this, Change your stars, you don’t have to be a shadow.”
Crazy is a fusion of rock grooves and pop melodies, making it one of the most catchy songs of the album. With an infectious violin melody by Lil Burrows and a bass guitar tune, this track creates a cheerful mood that’s intensified by the upbeat drums. Though the song is about the truth about relationships from the singers perspective, it has a very lively feel that will surely resonate with listeners. An amazing end to an excellent album!