Ought Offshoot Cola Are Fizzing with Energy on 'Deep in View'

Published: May 20, 2022
As originally published by Chris Gee on Exclaim!

Along with the unceremonious announcement of the end of beloved Montreal post-punk band Ought in November 2021, the band's vocalist-guitarist Tim Darcy and bassist Ben Stidworthy also stated that they had formed new band called Cola with U.S. Girls/Weather Station drummer Evan Cartwright. While Ought packed it in after a widely celebrated run of three compelling albums, Darcy and Stidworthy are clearly fizzing with new ideas that have found a home with Cola. 

The three-piece's first album, Deep in View, comes fully formed with a little bit of swagger and a willingness to lean into their natural instinct for melody. Compared to Ought's sprawling abandon and explosive spontaneity, Cola keep it more succinct and lock in their adrenaline right from the get-go. A propulsive drumbeat with a craggy guitar riff starts off in many of Deep in View's songs like "Blank Curtain" and "Degree," immediately actuating their frantic energy with machine-like precision.

On Deep in View, all three members are seemingly pushed to the foreground, each meticulously carving out their own part that intertwines with one another in a deeply satisfying groove, non-fussy but incredibly tactile. Stidworthy's seductive basslines often anchor the songs, pulsating and lightly stretching out the elastic skin of each number. This is especially true on "So Excited" and "At Pace," where his nimble bass twirls and dances around Darcy's abstract narrative language as he laments social media's consumerist mindset, "See it to want it, see it to need it / Doesn't matter as long as you do it in sight," on the latter song.

Fans of Ought will immediately recognize Darcy's nasal drawl and his plainspoken way of enunciating his words, making his mundane observations vivid and relatable. Deep in View explores society's lack of focus and attention against a blurred backdrop of compulsive internet drivel. Darcy tunes out the endless scrolling and swiping and divides our collective anxiety into more manageable bites. His mindfulness comes through on tracks such as "Water Table," articulating "Last long enough to go extinct, just long enough to overthink / Don't worry about losing our way home, I have that technology, right?" overtop a skittish Cartwright drum pattern that skips like an irregular heartbeat.

On album closer "Landers," Darcy slowly speaks his random thoughts over grand, graceful piano strokes, like a poet in solitude at the end of the night in a smoky bar, as he states, "The last word out of my mouth is the cushion on which it all lands." Cola make it all seem effortless to create perfectly catchy post-punk tunes, incorporating their punchy instrumentals with casual social commentary and calming meditative meanings.
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