Ought: Sun Coming Down review – intense, engrossing alt-rock


There are times when it’s easy to despair of indie or alt-rock – call it what you will. Then an album such as Sun Coming Down arrives, and the possibilities open to four people with guitars, bass and drums become apparent again. It’s not as if Ought, three Americans and an Australian based in Montreal, are terribly original; you can hear the staples of alternative music – Wire, Mission of Burma, the Fall – running through every note of their second album. But it’s performed with a kind of relaxed intensity that’s utterly engrossing. The songs ebb and flow, build and release, singer Tim Darcy expressing both anxiety and acceptance, in a Mark E Smithesque drawl. “I’m no longer afraid to dance tonight / Because that is all that I have left,” he sings on the album’s near-eight-minute centrepiece, Beautiful Blue Sky, in a lyric that seems to be the crux of the album’s worldview, that beauty can be found in fear.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Cloud Nothings: Here and Nowhere Else review – brash, heads-down garage-rock fun
Dylan Baldi's latest album is brash, heads-down garage rock (almost) all the way, with enough fun and immediacy to keep things interesting, writes Lanre Bakare

Lanre Bakare

27, Mar, 2014 @9:14 PM

Article image
Twin Peaks: Down in Heaven review – exuberant garage rock refuses to grow up

Rachel Aroesti

12, May, 2016 @7:45 PM

Band of Horses: Mirage Rock – review
Band of Horses up their game and sharpen their edges yet further with this focused and determined album, writes Michael Hann

Michael Hann

13, Sep, 2012 @8:58 PM

Article image
Alvvays: Alvvays review – breezy, literate indie-rock
Candian indie janglers Alvvays deliver and earnest and intelligent – but all too brief – debut album, writes Lanre Bakare

Lanre Bakare

24, Jul, 2014 @10:00 PM

Luke Haines: Rock and Roll Animals – review
Luke Haines's usual sarcastic wit is matched with warmth, whimsy and beautiful tunes on this psychedelic storybook album, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

25, Jul, 2013 @8:15 PM

Article image
Chris Cornell: rock star who kicked down the boundaries of sound
Chris Cornell, who has died aged 52, was always the black sheep in the grunge family – he drew on soul, R&B, and James Bond to turn hard rock psychedelic

Alexis Petridis

18, May, 2017 @12:46 PM

Article image
Happyness: Weird Little Birthday review – charming UK slacker-rock
Following the likes of Mazes and Yuck, here's another British band making a fuzzy, US-indebted indie-rock racket really rather well, writes Michael Hann

Michael Hann

12, Jun, 2014 @10:00 PM

Article image
Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal review – twitchy garage-rock tales
Parquet Courts' latest spins its tales of oddballs and outcasts atop an upbeat, garagey clatter, but could do with a bit more variation, writes Lanre Bakare

Lanre Bakare

05, Jun, 2014 @9:30 PM

Article image
Let's Eat Grandma: I'm All Ears review – bold, intense pop that gets under the skin
The duo’s second album is all about abandoning fear and leaping towards desire

Laura Snapes

29, Jun, 2018 @9:00 AM

Article image
The Kooks: Listen review – shamelessly retro but enjoyable pop-rock
The idea that the Kooks' fourth LP is a 'world music' album is a bit of a stretch, but its vintage-rock charms are winning enough, writes Harriet Gibsone

Harriet Gibsone

28, Aug, 2014 @10:00 PM