Ought

Room Inside the World

Merge

Feb 14, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

The post-punk label has been following Ought since their first release and while Tim Darcy and his fellow Montréal transplants claim there was never a mindful adoption of that style, the description of their sound is hard to deny. This is a good thing, a very good thing, and is particularly so for the more pronounced parts of Room Inside the World, the band's third album that finds them fully realized under a new roof at Merge.

Album opener "Into the Sea" jolts you forward in a roller coaster car with a revolving bassline that puts you at the ready in the way Interpol once did. Songs like "Disaffection" and "These 3 Things" go further to transmit the sound of that early-mid 2000's wave of post-punk revival that brought with it Editors and The Bravery, but with a higher brow. The guitars spar, dipping into one another's spaces with capoeira dances. Articulate drum and bass propels lively songs through your ears and into your core.

Darcy's voice has had the ability to shape-shift to suit the pitch of the music it narrates with existential probing and parsing. Lou Reed and David Byrne have been mentioned, although just as apt comparisons might be to Mark E. Smith, Bert Jansch, and even Frank Black on his first two turns as the Ought frontman. His voice has gained weight for Room Inside the World, projecting from lower down to conform to the more bottom heavy scale of production.

When there's a billow of force and expansion on new material, you take notice of who's guiding it. Producer Nicolas Vernhes has imbued striking tangibility to Deerhunter and Animal Collective records and his touch is felt all over. Additions of vibraphone, synth ambiance, and drum machine bring density to the surroundings. The second half of Room Inside the World ambles into areas that represent the contemplation of sound, where the voices of instrumentation hover about one another at slightly varied degrees of the same level, as would passing clouds. "Desire" is a gorgeous, downtempo example graced by a 70-piece choir, the voices of which resonate through Darcy's fine 2017 solo album Saturday Night.

This balance of immediacy and distance makes Room Inside the World Ought's fullest work to date. The members of Ought like to be out there in the Montréal music community, playing for and with people they know. You can picture these new songs suffusing a live setting, where bodies let go. (www.ought-band.squarespace.com)

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 9/10



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.