OUGHT with NEW FRIES at the Horseshoe, Thursday, October 29. Rating: NNN
Its been nearly a year since I saw locals New Fries. In the past Ive mostly enjoyed their energy, but this time they left a sour taste in my mouth. The four-piece sounded scattered and disjointed, as if purposely trying to test the patience of an otherwise interested crowd. Their spunky electro-pop was fun from a distance, but their set never gained momentum of any kind.
Montreal four-piece Ought also occasionally strayed from their streamlined post-punk, like on the energetic The Weather Song, but even when they took quick turns within songs, they swiftly pulled everything back together with resounding force. They didnt engage in much stage banter, instead delivering a hypnotic, grinding set.
Beautiful Blue Sky sounded more expansive than ever as nasal-voiced guitarist/lead singer Tim Darcys repetitive lyrics engulfed the crowd. And despite not charging as hard as most of the set, the song had a palpable synergy the bands best quality especially in the jam section that came at the end.
Evidently you can have your sweaty Thursday night any way you like it: favouring eccentric performance over songwriting, or pushing through a set with more efficiency than grace.
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