Release Date: Feb 16, 2018
Record label: Merge
Right. I've tried to pull myself out of this review, but I absolutely cannot. Someone must stand here, on this hill, with this rose and these thorns and this blood. My hot take boils down to this: What do the record collectors (read: certain dudes) want out of Ought? They seek an increase of the chaos, monologues and tempests to obfuscate humanity and push farther into the stratosphere of the obscure (or just the back catalogue of the Fall).
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.
Ought started their career sprinting, in more ways than one. By releasing two albums and an EP in a 17-month period during 2014 and 2015, the Montreal quartet established themselves at the top of the heap, with their explosive brand of post-punk, finding beauty and peace in life's mundanities and shouting about it at the top of their lungs. Following some downtime, the band's third LP, Room Inside the World, is a well-timed palate cleanser that moves toward a less brash but just as bold approach, while staying true to Ought's ethos. From the record's opening moments, it's clear that Ought are more confident and understated.
Over their past two records, the Montreal quartet transformed from a band seemingly set to follow the footsteps of Vampire Weekend into millennial champions; helped some by Tim Darcy's former life as a poet. They captured what it was to be young and lost in an abrasive world not just in their ….
As the title hints, Montreal's post-punk scrappers present newly accommodating fronts for their third album. The harrowed angst of old hasn't been diluted, rather re-channelled with a full-blooded flexibility to reflect the multiple emotional wavelengths - from hardship to hope - of harsh times ….
Ought are back with the follow-up to 2015's 'Sun Coming Down'. Lead single 'These 3 Things' offered the first glimpse into 'Room Inside The World', and the track's electric urgency, accented by pounding synth drums and a bulging bassline, does well to flaunt the Montreal art-punk outfit's newly-refined sound right from the off. On 'Desire', a slow-moving guitar sway creates the canvas for Tim Darcy to unfurl his larger-than- life vocals, dynamically jumping from earnest reflection ("You got creases on your face, the kind that give you grace") to sweeping lust ("The feel of your honey in the corner of my mouth / Like a loop around the block, like a shadow in your notebook").