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 About Departure; Burning Bridges And Not Regretting It': Zeal & Ardor On 'Stranger Fruit'
Wed 13 Jun 2018
Photo: Manuel Gagneux A crow caws. There’s the sound of crunching and snapping. “I’m in a graaaaveyard,” says Manuel Gagneux. But he isn't really in a graveyard.
John Carpenter Announces Autumn UK Shows
Mon 16 Jul 2018
John Carpenter will bring his Anthology tour to London, Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester this October.
On Writing: Ellis Jones Takes Trust Fund Into Reflective Waters With 'Bringing The Backline'
Tue 26 Jun 2018
History tells us that writers love to write about writers, and writing, and cafés, and corner tables in dive bars, and coffee and whiskey, and notebooks and typewriters, and muses and boyfriends and girlfriends and crushes.
Not For The Faint Of Heart: Myles Kennedy Takes Us Inside 'Year Of The Tiger'
Fri 29 Jun 2018
We’re all probably guilty of taking our favourite songwriters for granted; expecting them to pour their trauma into art we often consume purely for the purpose of entertainment. But do we ever truly consider what they must have been through to produce such deeply personal music? And would we be comfortable releasing the contents of our lives for the whole world to hear and critique?
Petal - Magic Gone (Album Review)
Wed 04 Jul 2018
‘Magic Gone’ begins abruptly with the Teenage Kicks-esque power chords of Better Than You, painting a picture of an album that’s going to be fuelled by anger, passion and enthusiasm, but the reality is far more measured.
Let's Eat Grandma - I'm All Ears (Album Review)
Tue 03 Jul 2018
Photo: Charlotte Patmore ‘I’m All Ears’ is the second album from Let’s Eat Grandma, the electronica duo comprising Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, and it shows impressive development from their precocious, if untidy, 2016 debut, ‘I, Gemini’.
Jim James - Uniform Distortion (Album Review)
Thu 05 Jul 2018
Photo: Justin Tyler Close On Jim James’ third solo album, the My Morning Jacket bandleader has dispensed with indie psychedelia in favour of straightforward, gutsy rock tunes. The result is a record of tight musical elements, with a consistently radio-friendly sound, that falls flat when compared to more innovative releases by better rock songwriters.
Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth (Album Review)
Tue 26 Jun 2018
On Kamasi Washington’s second solo record, ‘Heavenand Earth’, the L.A. bandleader has called up an impressive team of players including Tony Austin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Brandon Coleman, Cameron Graves, Terrance Martin, Miles Mosley and Thundercat. The result is a distinguished double-album of rich intensity that channels galactic fusion, sounds from ‘70s blaxploitation and sprawling jazz spirituals.
 
< Prev   Next >