Ought - Sun Coming Down

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2015-09-11

Ought just might very well be what The Velvet Underground was in their day, radically redesigning post-punk as any band could. Their first album, More Than Any Other Day, was filled with post-apocalyptic waltzes and stutters built around the tense anxiety of displacement, either physical or psychological. 

They recorded the album following the 2012 Montreal riots, though they all came from somewhere else. And this universal feeling of awe and fear and distance came through with every track. Put the first album and the brilliant EP that followed together and the framework of one of our most important bands is established.

Take the I’m drowning in fear, attitude, and radical disinterest of the lead vocals, add hefty amounts of vivid poetic imagery in the lyrics, and provide at once sloppy, messy chord progressions with denser structures of noise, and Ought, with their new album, Sun Coming Down, have made it to the next level of musical nirvana.

And they are finding their groove.  I might be reading too much into this band but with the opening, ‘Men For Miles’ Darcy is following up the displaced and volatile landscape of the riots with rows and rows of suited men marching towards normalcy and with the building anxious progression of the song,  Darcy is mocking it and not buying into any of it.  You go, dude.

Sun Coming Down is less deliberate and sparse in its delivery than Ought’s first album.  It’s almost as if that first album was a test run and now they have it right.  And it all builds thematically to the first single ‘Beautiful Blue Sky’, their 8 minute opus that brings it all to its subversive peak with seemingly unconnected snippets of middle-class conversations that explodes with a blue sky exultation of words and music.  It’s art, it’s brilliant, and if you haven’t discovered Ought yet, you ought to.  Best album this year and the leaves are turning and I don’t expect another to pass through as good as this one for quite some time.

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