Radio K-ritical: Ought, “Sun Coming Down”

Zach Simon

Back by popular demand, the post-rock, Montreal-based and DIY-living Ought returns with a sophomore full-length, “Sun Coming Down.” 
 
Once again appearing on the Canadian label Constellation Records, the quartet follows up its critically acclaimed debut with something unconventional. Agitation glimmers underneath a new array of pedals and polished production — their 2014 release “More Than Any Other Day” was defined by the poetry of singer Tim Darcy, leaving the majority of the melody as a peripheral background.
 
“Sun Coming Down” arrives with more punch and warmer riffs. They still perform their best Talking Heads impression with stream-of-consciousness lyrics. 
 
Ought offers sharp commentary. Their repetitious style suggests Darcy and company are trying to beat audiences over the head with simple ideas until nothing else exists in the world but problems and solutions. Their austere commitment to the spoken word is what sets them apart from other punk-revivalists.
 
“Men for Miles” races into view before you have a chance to adjust your mirrors. The jubilance of the track feels like a continuation of the last album.
 
On “Beautiful Blue Sky,” a torrent of words can make you feel as out of breath as Darcy sounds. The roughly eight-minute track is as ecstatic as Ought has ever sounded.
 
Their energy is thrilling to listen to — illustrated beautifully by the oft-repeated “I’m no longer afraid to die ’cause that is all that I have left. Yes! Yes! I’m no longer afraid to dance tonight ’cause that is all that I have left.”
 
Firing on all cylinders, Ought blazes past sophomore slump and sticks the landing. “Sun Coming Down” can sound like a mess, but give it a minute — hell, give it three (you’ll only be about halfway through most tracks) — and you’ll quickly find yourself caught up in musical ecstasy. With such successful releases like these, it’s Ought’s party, and we’re all just listening to it.
 
Brought to you in parternship with Radio K: Real College Radio.