Columbus, OH, The Basement, July 2, 2005

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman


Upon first hearing the debut release from California's Augustana, it seemed apparent that the band was either one of two entities: A young band that has a ways to go, or a young band who is well beyond their years with a debut record that leaves their sound a bit flat.

The answer was given loud and clear in the tiny club known as The Basement in front of about 60 people, this is a band well beyond their years; at least in terms of music and lyrical ability. Although as a live act, the band still needs to work on their performance art, their music and sound was incredible, especially coming from these young wave watchers who look almost too young to even be on the OC.


Although the release for Augustana isn't due until Fall, the SoCal quartet gets to strap on their gear early to open for UK's Embrace, which is a great spot for them to be in. For not only will their sound be music to Embrace fans' ears, but they get to spend time with a very successful band who is making their start here in the states. Augustana gets to learn from and experience how a band who plays in front of 10,000 but get to do it in a small club setting. Already, just by conversing with the band after the show, one can hear how Augustana is turning themselves into sponges and soaking up everything they can get their young minds around. And first and foremost was sound.


Although The Basement is exactly that, Augustana was able to get great sound and mixing qualities that without the help of "Squid," Embrace's tour manager, they otherwise may not have gotten. This quality mixing was able to lend a certain boom to their sound that is missing on their recording. Whether it was a harsher vocal or a snap of the snare, Augustana is a band that definitely outlives their recording. All this came from a tiny club in which bands just shouldn't sound that good.

Although no one can predict the future of a band these days, Augustana's lyrics are heartfelt and meaningful and their music is catchy without being corny, and normally this can make for a quality American success story. Songs like Boston and Bullets are great singles, but more than that, there are several quality songs on the album to make is exactly that, a total record. All The Stars and Boulevards may not be coming out until Fall, but this is one act that is worthy of seeing without any preconceived notions of sounds and songs. Augustana is like a great independent film that comes on television. Knowing nothing about it makes it even sweeter to the senses. Check out Augustana on tour all summer long with Embrace and after that, be glad you did so it can be said, "I saw Augustana at ..."

Josiah Rosen
Justin South
Dan Layus
Dan Layus
Jared Palomar