Track Review – Beautiful Blue Sky / Ought

Ought’s new track sees Tim Darcy criticising all that is wrong with modern life, which is pretty normal when it comes to Ought. Their sound is a blend of the Strokes with the darker post-punk of Interpol, with a dash of their contemporaries Protomartyr. It’s a seven minute track, perhaps a touch too long considering what Darcy has to say. It mostly consists of sarcastic repetitions of the mundane comments of life, such as ‘beautiful weather today’ or ‘How’s the family?’, but then he adds in ‘I am no long afraid to die’. Still, after the song dips into the five minute mark, the song begins to meander and becomes a pretentious cluster of feedback and slowed-down instrumentation.

The vocals of Darcy are hit or miss. At his best, he can sound like a deadpan criticiser of the drudgery of life, but at his worst he just sounds like he’s repeating the regurgitated criticisms of capitalism that we’ve all heard from these kinds of bands. And when the vocals become too tedious to listen to, the background instrumentation is too weak to fall back on. At the beginning of the track, the needling guitars are insistent, but once the track is finished, it’s become a chore to listen to. Of course, this has all been done before. It’s a rock band telling you how much they hate capitalism, but on the other hand Darcy can come out with lines like ‘I’m no longer afraid to die / ‘Cause that’s all I have left’. There’s glimmers of hope in this over-long song.

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