Ragtime World, the new album from Boulder, CO’s Augustus mixes their psychedelic rock sound with classic rock vibes and folk, giving listeners no expectation of what will come next.
The classic rock feel is a new aesthetic, which opens the record via “Leave the Light On.” Augustus have favored the use of organ in the past, but give it more prominence on this record, reminiscent of classic groups like The Animals or Kansas. The track “Daisies” could pass for a Fleetwood Mac cut with its soft, cool groove and tasteful guitar licks. But then, just when you think they’re a classic rock band, vocalist Colin Kelly sings with their trademark psychedelic feel bringing to mind modern groups such as Tame Impala.
After the first few tracks, Ragtime World shows flashes of different genres and influences. Here, Augustus insert softer, folky songs like those incorporated into so many americana and coffee-shop-singer-songwriter acts. The title track, in fact, features only vocals with minimalist effects and finger-picked guitar, an intimate feel for the delivery of the song chosen to represent the whole album. “Diana” also features a light ensemble, with the band barely there in the background. Still, on other tracks, they show off their traditional indie-rock side with tracks like “Madonna” and “Carried all the Weight.”
As Augustus are solid songwriters in their established rock sound, they’re still trying to figure out how to incorporate other influences and ideas. Some of the tracks may not even sound as if they’re from the same band, but the same can be said of many of the greats. After releasing several full-length records, with Ragtime World Augustus can take pride in keeping their music fresh.