June 21, 2014

Ought played Rough Trade

Fresh off the release of their fantastic debut full-length, Montreal's Ought let loose on Brooklyn's Rough Trade for an intimate and established performance that was far more advanced than a band so young had any right to play. Their thrilling tunes dazzled and stormed over a packed house as feverish jams reigned supreme for the evening. Loose keys and jangly guitars were paired with a tightly locked rhythm section that exuded confidence far beyond anyone's deserved expectations. While the band share their name with the past decade, it is hard not to draw comparisons to seasoned acts such as Pavement, Television, or the Clean and with vocals that recalled a young David Byrne (the swagger and persona were uncanny), a proto-punk influence isn't far off either. The band may shake their head at arty post-punk, however when the opening riffs of "Clarity!" ring out, it's rather difficult to not think of "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Bouncing with energy, the band ran through their brief and triumphet set and highlighted tunes such as "The Weather Song", "Today More Than Any Other Day", "Gemini" and a particularly sprawling "Habit" that showcased the band's already natural ability to command and captivate an audience. Their intense control over huge guitar swells and nonchalant solos were perfectly timed and didn't over exaggerate their songs relatively low-key appeal. The timing hit in all the right places and allowed for each member to ideally compliment each other without stepping over anyone's toes. It's hard to imagine that these guys won't be playing to huge venues any time soon and like fellow rockers Parquet Courts, their sharp angular guitar work is highly welcome in an indie-rock scene that has been long dominated by many less deserving bands. Their ability to draw on raw emotion is perfectly fitting to today's needs in a way most did not even notice was missing from traditional guitar based rock.

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