Once More with Feeling...

OughtOnce More with Feeling...
A mere six months after the release of their debut album, More Than Any Other Day, adopted Montreal quintet Ought are ready for a reintroduction. Essentially a reissue of their earlier pre-Constellation Records material, Once More With Feeling… is surprisingly eclectic for a four-track EP. Consisting of re-recordings of previous releases, including non-album track "Waiting," which has been floating around since early 2014, the new EP finds the band playfully cocksure. Opener "Pill" and closer "Waiting" together work as bookends to the self-containing "New Calm Part 2" and "New Calm Part 3," both re-recordings of earlier "New Calm Part 1," released back in May 2012 on their New Calm EP.

Guitarist and vocalist Tim Beeler's delivery is even more joyfully disjointed throughout "New Calm Part 2," a rawer and longer version of the song featured on the previous EP, which itself was already a new version of "New Calm Part 1." Confused yet? This new version fuses both these two earlier recordings, resulting in its most affecting iteration, only to then be completely torn apart in "New Calm Part 3," a sprawling six-and-a-half minutes of musical exploration and subtle abrasiveness over lingering guitar distortion. While "New Calm Part 3" is not altogether unpleasant, a nice respite awaits in the form of the more straightforward "Waiting," (if anything Ought does can be considered straightforward) with its cowbell-like cymbal tapping and plaintive vocals.

Once More With Feeling… acts as both a great introduction for new fans, highlighting their DIY aesthetic and their ability to subvert their own song structures, and as a nice addition to Ought's already great discography for existing fans. (Constellation)
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