Home > News & Reviews > Ought

Ought - Room Inside The World (Album Review)

Thursday, 01 March 2018 Written by Ben Gallivan

It’s been a couple of years since we heard something new from the Montreal art-punkers Ought, which is surprising given the bombardment of material that the world was subjected to a couple of years back: an EP and a couple of albums in the space of 18 months. But what an exciting bombardment it was.

An early self-release, ‘New Calm’, dropped a little while after the band formed in 2012, and their following output was swift, fresh and hugely diverting. ‘More Than Any Other Day’ – their debut album from 2014 -  saw the band become lauded all over the world. Multiple appearances on end-of-year lists were inevitable and forthcoming, as was the ‘Once More with Feeling’ EP, which was squeezed in before the year was out.

Released in 2015, ‘Sun Coming Down’ carried on in the same vein and produced some of their finest work to that point, particularly the epic Beautiful Blue Sky. In their time away, frontman Tim Darcy released a solo LP, ‘Saturday Night’, and here he again takes a prominent role.

Darcy has always been something of a lyrical and vocal gymnast, but on ‘Room Inside the World’ he takes things to a whole new level. His sardonic, playful delivery has been likened to Talking Heads’ David Byrne and the late Mark E. Smith – and rightly so as they clearly are influences – but something else is afoot.

On opener Into the Sea (already very likely to be the best thing you’ve heard so far in 2018) Darcy sounds like Elvis Presley gone full crooner. On second listen, there’s a hint of the Human League’s Phil Oakey and U2’s Bono in there too.

The band seem to use the same methods in putting together a record here as they have in the past. We do get an extra track (nine rather than the eight on the previous records, although closer Alice wouldn’t look too out of place on a b-sides EP), but the overall feel is similar.

We start off with urgency in the first half, including the very ‘Heads-esque Disaffectation and These Three Things, before settling down into a more relaxed, downbeat second segment. Desire is a beauty and, while Darcy’s vocals are in danger of getting a little tiresome at times, there’s a simple beat and bassline underpinning it all, allowing the hushed backing tones of a gospel choir to cover his vocal tics for now.

One thing of note, though, is the lack of an overtly experimental track. Everything is a lot more accessible musically and the production values are a little more polished. The tunes are still very much there even if the challenges are few and far between – perhaps that’s what we all need? An Ought album without all the complicated stuff?

Whereas ‘More Than Any Other Day’ was a near-classic from the end of the first listen, ‘Room Inside the World’ may take a little more getting used to. There isn’t a signature Ben Stidworthy bassline (a la Habit and Beautiful Blue Sky) here but there is a richer overall sound; one that should pick up more new fans and cement a firm relationship with the current ones.

Ought Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri April 20 2018 - BRISTOL Exchange
Sat April 21 2018 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Sun April 22 2018 - GLASGOW Stereo
Mon April 23 2018 - BIRMINGHAM Hare and Hounds
Tue April 24 2018 - LONDON Garage

Click here to compare & buy Ought Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

You May Also Like:

'It's Fun To Still Be Surprised': The Changing Face Of Three Man Cannon
Tue 06 Mar 2018
Photo: Russell Edling A bands’ band are a well respected part of the furniture in their scene. They have released several records of consistent quality, if not a consistent sound, and those records could be considered influential, even if that’s a relative term. They are probably opening for your favourite band in town tonight because they’re your favourite band’s favourite band. Three Man Cannon are a bands’ band.
Nobody Loses All The Time: Nervus' Em Foster Talks 'Everything Dies'
Wed 07 Mar 2018
Photo: Derek Bremner E.E. Cummings’ poem Nobody Loses All The Time tells the tale of Uncle Sol, who despite being “born a failure” still manages to rack up several attempts at success before drowning himself in a water tank. In death, though, he brings about new life. It’s a posthumous, ironic win for a chronic loser: “Somebody pressed a button (and down went my Uncle Sol and started a worm farm).”
Win Sumo Cyco VIP Tickets And Merch Bundle
Tue 06 Mar 2018
Sumo Cyco return to the road for their No Sleep! No Surrender! Tour this spring and Stereoboard are giving away a pair of VIP tickets for their date at the Boston Music Room in London on March 26 plus a huge merch bundle.
Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (Album Review)
Wed 21 Mar 2018
Photo: Rick Froberg Few corners of the music world subscribe to the law of diminishing returns quite like reunion albums. They are, broadly, to be treated with suspicion. What are the motives behind them? Does each note contained within sound like a dollar sign rolling around in cartoon eyes? Do the band care? Do we care?
The Magic Gang - The Magic Gang (Album Review)
Tue 20 Mar 2018
Photo: Dan Kendall There’s nothing edgy about the Magic Gang’s self-titled debut. It’s not offensive, it’s not abrasive, it’s not cynical and it certainly isn’t controversial. It’s lacking in a number of seemingly crucial qualities possessed by many classics. And yet that’s precisely why the record feels as fresh as the summer breeze it so often evokes.
Mount Eerie - Now Only (Album Review)
Wed 21 Mar 2018
Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum is a musician unlike almost any other. His music, lacking in any perceptible pop structure, plays like a stream of consciousness; raw, without embellishment, and completely devastating. Following the death of his wife, Geneviève, Elverum explored his grief through his work, resulting in the release of a critically acclaimed album, ‘A Crow Looked At Me’.
Tracey Thorn - Record (Album Review)
Fri 09 Mar 2018
If it weren’t for the xx, specifically Romy Madley Croft, you could probably describe Tracey Thorn’s musical oeuvre as completely unique within British music. Her sultry style and low-slung melodies have hovered elegantly just outside of the mainstream for nearly 40 years.
'Hate Is A Really Rich Well To Draw From': Lice Talk 'It All Worked Out Great'
Fri 06 Apr 2018
“Support us? We’re gonna be supporting you, mate. You come to this city you’re gonna learn the meaning of support.” That’s what Joe Talbot told Alastair Shuttleworth when they first met in Bristol three years ago. Shuttleworth, an English student moonlighting as a music writer, had interviewed the Idles frontman earlier in the evening and now, with a few beers in his belly at an afterparty, was asking whether his band, Lice, could open one of their shows.
< Prev   Next >