Lo-fi and poignant, the album has unusual origins. After relocating to Tasmania, frontman Glenn Richards turned an underground cave on his West Hobart property into a recording studio and promptly commenced the demoing process. Such as unlikely starting point adds a further degree of interest to the lugubrious tales that unfold before us.
‘AWOL‘ and ‘After The Crack Up‘ are both delightful dabbles into seventies folk, in terms of both songwriting and production.
‘Bastard Times‘ is a tad guilty of mirroring The Beatles ‘Imagine‘ a little too closely whilst ‘A Dog Starved‘ is also Beatle-esque, albeit more subtly.
All throughout Havens Dumb we are served stripped back hypnotic folk tunes, most evident on the curiously titled ‘Father Jack And Mr T‘ and ‘Definitive History‘.
Locally inspired ‘Hobart Obit‘ embraces an unexpected sixties swoon that oddly enough sounds like an unreleased song off the ‘Grease‘ soundtrack.
The tail end of the record is a collection of slow ambient soundscapes that contain veritable beauty and serve well to conjure up visions of Tasmania’s desolate landscapes. Somewhat ironically ‘Never Been Sad‘ may well qualify as the album’s saddest moment.
Morose and endearing, Havens Dumb is a welcome return for the band. It does at times feel like a somewhat elongated journey, however, and may start to test the patience of casual listeners. Commencing it’s existence in a Tasmanian cave then blossoming in various parts of Melbourne, Augie March have delivered once again.