Ought have always been with those big questions. Human insignificance and the banality of life or conversation, for instance. Room Inside the World, however, sees them foray into more directly political topics; while instrumentally developing into a more distinct and progressive post-punk sound.

Room Inside the World is, as always with Ought, no easy listen. More meditated and structured than ever, it doesn’t appease the light listener. It’s a staggeringly dense record, but rather than scaring the listener away - it draws them in. Intrinsic phasing, multi-instrumental depth and Tim Darcy’s ever-enticing vocal delivery tempt further listens.

A large element of this depth, as before, remains in Darcy’s vocals. Dense, literature laden lyricism is delivered through his hauntingly erratic vocal range. Though still delicate and warbling, Darcy benefits hugely from being further to the fore of the mix. Clarity only serves to emphasise the immense technicality of his lyricism, and only gives him more of a pedestal for his quiet theatrics. ‘Disgraced in America’ demonstrates the band’s maturity. Methodically phased, its politically potent lyrics rise and fall with an instrumental that fluctuates calmly between the manic and tender. The songs final, momentous phase is irresistibly, mournfully melodic with throes of noise that’s all vaguely Velvet Underground-esque.

The album’s third single, ‘Desire’, is another standout track. With Darcy’s voice doing its best as a quietly theatrical mediator between Morrisey and Lou Reed; he massages and lurches the listener with a kind of pained preaching. The seventy-piece choir that closes out the track shows just how far the band have come; all the while injecting a melancholic, soulful urgency to the tracks message.

Most impressive of all is just how completely fresh Room Inside the World feels. To describe the structure of each song doesn’t quite do justice to the genuine feel of difference between them, not to mention development from their previous records. It’s less erratic than More Than Any Other Day, with less of the almost minimal, high and harsh tones of Sun Coming Down. Meditated and structured, Room Inside the World relies less on the unpredictable; each track has its own identity - unafraid to transition into mellow bass phases or even danceable melody.

These individual identities reveal Ought as more diverse than ever before. ‘Disaffection’ with it’s tense, spasmodic structure; couldn’t be further from the densely coordinated walls of noise of ‘Take Everything’ – which in turn is markedly different to the hauntedly throbbing, ‘Decades’-like album closer, ‘Alice’. ‘These Three Things’ stands apart from the rest too, with all its new wave danceability and bass grooves. The dichotomy between its systematic tunefulness and the desperation of Darcy wailing “Will I hear my soul?” ensures the track makes its mark. This isn’t to say Room Inside the World is entirely without flaws - ‘Broken Shield’ in particular suffers from being simply not as memorable as the rest of the record.

Room Inside the World is a trove of art-rock and post-punk. Always leaving the listener quite unsure of its potential, it cements Ought’s reputation as an exciting band perfectly capable of evolution and reinvention.