Ought–Clarity!

“So you think you were born powerful and stay that way?  Okay.”

Another outfit breathing new life into the burgeoning post-punk revival, Ought is both intimate and intricate.  While their sound is familiar, a preternatural mastery of producing compelling jagged emotives elevates them above mere derivative status.  After two albums, they have proven themselves a reliable source for agitated introspection.  Their dazzling debut, More Than Any Other Day, featured a string of instant classics.  While the title track gets the most attention, Clarity! is a worthy contender for best song on the album.  A withering rebuke of emotional entitlement, lead singer Tim Darcy provides a lesson in contrast.  His accusatory hush boils over into sputtering rage as the music builds behind him.  It’s often easy to see Ought as a showcase for his ability to spin the mundane into the cuttingly profound, but the band gamely provides beautifully, often sparsely, orchestrated backdrops for his ennui.  There is never a moment on the track where you can’t clearly pick out each individual member, whether they’re providing a stark backing beat or wandering off and reconvening into a cacophony.  The precision of their lyrical and musical composition is made even more remarkable by their relative youth as a band.

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