Certain Songs #1418: Ought – “Men For Miles”

Album: Sun Coming Down
Year: 2015

While I never heard their debut and disliked their third album, I really enjoyed the second record by Montreal art-punks Ought, 2015’s Sun Coming Down, on which they offered a series of modern psychedelic noisescapes that edged occasionally into tunes, and occasionally not.

Obviously, I enjoyed the ones that almost had tunes, especially as lead singer Tim Darcy channeled his inner Mark E. Smith on the epic “Beautiful Blue Sky” and the raging opener, “Men For Miles.”

At first, you can’t really hear what Darcy is singing, as he’s swept up in a melange of overdriven sustaining guitars and drumbeats, but then, suddenly, the guitars leave a tiny hole and Darcy steps right through it.

There were men for miles
There were men for miles
And doesn’t it just bring a tear to your eye, yeah
A tear to your eye
A tear to your eye
A tear to your eye
A tear to your eye
A tear to your eye
A tear to your eye
A tear to your eye
A tear to your eye

It’s the repetition of “a tear to your eye” that kills me every single time, as Darcy sings each one slightly differently, as if he’s going to make every single moment he can be heard above the guitars, which he totally does, but as he’s repeating “tear to your eye” the guitars come roaring back, eventually overwhelming him all over again.

And so it goes: before and after the choruses, “Men For Miles” is a raging river of beautifully noisy guitars, which ring and clang and clamor on and on and on until it’s time for the song to end.

“Men For Miles”

“Men For Miles” live at KEXP, 2015

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