Merely their second appearance in our green and pleasant land, ‘Ought’ will no doubt be back on many more occasions. The Montreal based expatriates emerged onto the indie-rock-punk-folk scene in the summer of 2012, gigging in lofts as part of a DIY arts community project in the city, gradually brewing up to produce their debut album ‘More Than Any Other Day’ in April of this year.
Trading on their outsider persona, the foursome dabble with distressed tones, eery, energetic lyrics and percussive protests. Taking to the stage on Saturday in our very own Brudenell Social Club, ‘Today More Than Any Other Day’ seeped out over the half full room – the 2 minute woozy intro escalating into a head- bobbing frenzy of guitars and lyrics. A strong start to the set, Tim Beeler’s conversational style of vocals dealt with dejection, exhilaration and desperation throughout, featuring lyrics such as ‘I am prepared/ To make the decision / Between 2 per cent and whole milk’ (indeed a dilemma that resonates with students) to the morose ‘I’m no longer afraid to die/ Because that is all I have left’.
Midway through the set came ‘Forgiveness’: no strumming guitar intro here, but the sneering slurs of keyboard and violin, brandished by the drummer. This sombre tune was perhaps the ‘interval’ and predominantly instrumental, with Beeler’s mumblings complementing the unsteady motion and clash of synthesizer and strings. We then delved back into the restlessness of their most recent release, ‘Once More With Feeling’.
Only treating us to an hour of material, all those present were pleasantly surprised. A real slick performance setting the boys in good stead for the rest of their UK tour, and making them most certainly ones to watch: A fearless array of all things musical, contradictions and nervous energy.
Ought are a band you really ought to see (like what I did there eh?).
photos : atomiqueproductions.com, cstrecords.com