REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha
MONTREAL OUTFIT OUGHT RELEASE STRIKING DEBUT ON CONSTELLATION
‘More Than Any Other Day’ strikes many a favourable chord.
Ought are showing a distinct love of lo-fi indie rock here that the likes of Sebadoh were churning out seemingly every year 20 years ago. The band, who have been living and playing together for a few years now, finally (in their own words) ‘gave in to the internet’ last year and hype has been building locally for this debut album. Hopefully, this hype will become international because it is a fine body of work. The band, made up of a couple of Tims, a Ben and a Mat, are releasing ‘More Than On Any Other Day’ through
Constellation during the w/c 28
th April. Firstly, for all the comparisons that I could make regarding their lo-fi-ability (the phrase exists, I’m sure), the band sure know how to make a song last. There are no 3-minute pop classics here; the album’s shortest and poppiest moment comes in the form of ‘The Weather Song’ but even that clocks in at an impressive four-and-a-half minutes, so you’re sure not going to find them on your local commercial radio station any time soon. Which is good, because that’s the last place they belong. Some impressive looking and sounding live videos have started to surface over the last couple of months and the band look to be having as much fun as those that have gathered to watch them, and a pretty sight it is too. Having already warned vocalist and guitarist Tim Beeler to the fact prior to writing this review, one cannot pass up the opportunity to compare his vocal style to that of a young David Byrne. Just listen to the couplet in the stand-out song on the album ‘Habit’; “and there it comes again… and you’ll give in again” and you’ll be left wondering if you’re actually listening to something from Talking Heads’ early back-catalogue – it really is that uncanny. The eccentricities of Beeler’s singing are one of the outstanding elements of the record as a whole, without them there’s a good chance that the album could go pretty much unnoticed outside of their home city. There are some parts to the album that are
could be classed as uncomfortable listening; long, seemingly improvised mid-sections are prevalent in many of the songs but the welcome return of Beeler’s vocals stem those initial feelings of confusion. Some accomplished work from the other musicians in the band help likewise; the superb drumming of Tim Keen, bassist Ben Stidworthy and keyboard interludes ably provided by Matt May always give you something new to listen to with every play. That is the overall reason why this record works so well – you’re always being kept interested. The opening couple of minutes of ‘Today More Than Any Other Day’ are slow. Slower than slow. But then it all kicks in and becomes a huge, screaming monolith before your very ears. This happens a lot on the record, persistence is the key. In other news, ‘Forgiveness’ and ‘Clarity! are basically what would happen if Godspeed! had a vocalist or if Modest Mouse had carried on being awesome – but sadly they tailed off around 2004. That is all. Buy this record.
Rating: 9 out of 10