Ought - More Than Any Other Day - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Ought - More Than Any Other Day

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2014-04-28

Not since Gang of Four have you heard such a militaristic stomp as you will on ‘Pleasant Heart’, the opening song from the debut album More Than Any Other Day by Ought, one of the latest and best bands blooming from the Montreal DIY scene. Ought hail from Montreal but have an Aussie and three Americans in the band. They have put together one of the best albums released so far this year.

Supposedly coming together during the student riots of 2012 in Montreal, this foursome has released eight songs of angst-driven, tension-filled, edgy gems which often start slow, building into full-blown blasts of hardy rock 'n' roll and, with the help of the singer’s half-singing, half-talking delivery, conjure up comparisons to everyone from David Byrne to Sonic Youth - even Stan Ridgway on ‘The Weather Song’. More than anything, though. Ought, in Tim Beeler’s sing/speak delivery and sparse guitar pieces blending with the sharp bark of the drums, probably shar an affinity to the very best of early Modest Mouse. Regardless of the melting pot of influences, More Than Any Other Day  is straight-up more original than most albums you’ll have heard in a while.

The title song has Beeler proclaiming ultimate positive thoughts of such mundane actions as choosing between two per cent and whole milk, but the build-up and delivery create the feeling he has just busted down the door and is walking out into some post-apocalyptic wasteland, or, after being holed-up, finally coming out after the riots. Take your pick. The song is a classic.

Ought will probably be labeled an art-punk band for the sort of baroque approach they have in starting off their songs. Church organ tinkles start ‘Forgiven’ and ‘Gemini’, while sparse bass introduces several tracks, but the alternately ominous and uplifting moods, along with the sinister, grinding rock 'n' roll that each song builds towards, have the classic originality of, say, The Doors rather than most post-punk.

In any case, each of the eight songs on More Than Any Other Day all seem to take a particularly different approach which ultimately adds up to a cohesive collection of brilliant post-punk. Ought may have begun in 2012, but their vision is strong and this will keep them moving forward quickly.

Comments (2)

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Favourite album of the year so far. Like a cross between Talking Heads and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! on steroids.

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Me, too. (But then, Crazy Man Anton has a new one coming out this month...)

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