Cola - Deep in View Music Album Reviews

Cola - Deep in View Music Album Reviews
Featuring members of the recently disbanded Ought, the post-punk trio makes its debut with skeletal songs of modern anxiety and isolation.

The name Cola partly stands for “Cost of Living Adjustment,” an ironically dry source of inspiration for a rock band. But in the context of former Ought frontman Tim Darcy’s latest project, the economic term speaks to an artistic outlook as well. Joined by fellow ex-Ought bassist Ben Stidworthy and drummer Evan Cartwright (U.S. Girls, The Weather Station), the trio’s debut album addresses modern anxieties wrought by technology in a world on the brink, bringing their imagistic worldview to the present. Cola’s sleek sound fits in with the melodic side of contemporary post-punk, with sharper hooks and more succinct songwriting than the members’ past work. What remains is Darcy's charismatic spoken-sung drawl, picking up right where his last band left off.

Before announcing their split in 2021, Ought refined their approach to contemplative, cathartic art-rock across three albums. On the quartet’s emotionally raw 2014 debut, Darcy’s voice strained like a young David Byrne searching for something to believe in. By 2015’s Sun Coming Down, their songs grew longer and their lyrics more repetitive, with the snarled delivery of Mark E. Smith. Darcy tried out a Roy Orbison quiver on his 2017 solo album, and on Ought’s final LP, he was accompanied by a 70-person choir. No such embellishments appear on Deep in View, as the three musicians strip their songs to skeletal essentials.

In that sense, Cola has a few things in common with the Smile, the Radiohead side project featuring Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. Both bands formed in the shadow of their members’ better known projects and emerged with a familiar, streamlined sound. “So Excited” was the first song that Darcy, Stidworthy, and Cartwright wrote together in late 2019, its choruses ringing with the disaffected catchiness of the Strokes. After the pandemic hit, their in-person recordings were replaced by file trading over Google Drive, though it’s impossible to tell the difference. Sandwiching the meat of the song between off-kilter instrumental passages, “Fulton Park” touches on feelings of disconnection. As its choruses fall apart, Darcy sings about being “pulled over for imitating landscapes,” an imaginary world he escaped to during his loneliest moments in lockdown.

Darcy’s lyrics have always been concerned with human connection, but these songs were written from a more reclusive perspective than Ought’s grandiose epics. “Mint” describes his solitary experiences making tea, dusting his record shelves, and pacing the halls. It feels like both a cry for help and an admission of self-sabotage when he sings “I’d call someone/I don’t call anyone.” On “Water Table” Darcy sounds just as alone, becoming one with technology while he stops worrying about going extinct. Cartwright’s caveman drum beat, without the use of cymbals, leaves a lot of space for the lyrics, as do his martial snare rolls on “Gossamer,” propelling one of the album’s most evocative lines: “I feel abrasions like a seawall feels the rain.”

It’s interesting to hear the multiple demos of “Degree,” which Cola have released alongside the album version. The twinkly guitar riffs that made it to the final cut are undeniably pleasant, but I found myself wishing they would have kept some of the droning organs, echoing drum machines, and sputtering breakbeats that appeared in earlier renditions. The uniformity of the album’s first nine songs becomes clear by the time they reach closer “Landers,” switching out their minimalist rock arrangement for moody pianos and soft drum brushes. Cola haven’t reinvented the wheel, but these subtle experiments suggest they still have boundaries to push.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Cola - Deep in View Music Album Reviews Cola - Deep in View Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 07, 2022 Rating: 5


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