The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: Ought – ‘Room Inside The World’ (Merge)

  • 8/10
    - 8/10


Ought’s third studio album ‘Room Inside The World’ sees them temper their post-punk with a newfound darkness and beauty.

There seems to be a post-punk resurgence of late, with Protomatyr, Savages, Goat Girl and B Boys just a few of those tending its light, taking the genre well-beyond its 1980s roots. Canadian quartet Ought have been at the vanguard of this latest revival, and their third album Room Inside The World simultaneously brings out the darkness and beauty of post-punk creating a heartbreakingly beautiful album full of poetry and minimalist instrumentation.

What immediately catches your attention are Tim Darcy’s ghoulish and deep vocals reminiscent of the key icons of the goth-era, Robert Smith and Nick Cave, alongside revivalist Faris Badwan of The Horrors. The deepness of Darcy’s vocals alongside their softness creates a unique sense of beauty that permeates the entirety of the album.

Darcy’s captivating vocals emphasise the poetry of the lyrics. On ‘Desire’ expressive lines such as “the feel of your honey in corner of my mouth” and “and you smiled so much / you got creases on your face / the kind that give you grace” spill over oozy synths followed by a beautiful guitar riff. The lyrical style is dynamic shifting from poetic beauty to witty Courtney Barnett-style deadpan humour with the line “I was like a dentist rooting for pain” on ‘Disgraced In America’.

Ought’s sound has changed fairly significantly from the roughness and rawness of 2015’s last outing Sun Coming Down; it’s still just as dark and powerful but more minimalistic and soft. The introduction track ‘Into The Sea’ opens with Darcy’s vocals isolated over ringing piano chords with synths slowing creeping in building a euphoric chorus of guitar, bass and fast drums. Ominous heavy bass, in the style of PJ Harvey’s Is This Desire?, takes centre-stage on the final track of the album and ‘These 3 Things’ is a dark experimentation in synth-pop with punk.

Despite, the beauty of the album it still retains the energy of punk; however, it cannot be denied that this this is limited to a few tracks as the mellowness seems to dominate the album. ‘Disaffectation’ is the most energetic track on the album, with a rapid drum beat and bass riff driving the track forward with clashing guitar chords and synths in the outro.

On Room Inside The World, Ought have substituted their rawness and energy for a cleverly formulated dark and mellow sound, creating a striking album after their three-year hiatus. Best of all, you can catch them in Leeds at the Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 21st April! (8/10) (Sandie Garland)

Listen to Room Inside The World by Ought here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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