More Than Any Other Day is ultimately defined by its unsettled, restless spirit; this is an album that treats panic attacks and adrenalized ecstasy as two sides of the same pounding heart, with its simultaneous transmissions of joy and fear, discipline and chaos, comedy and tragedy.
As Singer/Guitarist, Tim Beeler spells it out in the album’s closer, “Gemini”: “I retain the right to be disgusted by life/ I retain the right to be in love with everything in sight.” Ought aren’t telling you what to do with your life. They just want to make sure you live it.
Rodrigo y Gabriela’s compositions aren’t simply platforms for demonstrating their chops. the song “Torito” has the elaborate melodic line and fiercely percussive rhythm guitar one expects from Rodrigo y Gabriela. But at the song’s heart, and elaborated throughout, is an ominous metal progression that, with electric guitar and a full band, could be the core of a Mastodon track.
They take time and care for composing passages that tell a story. “Sunday Neurosis” opens with samples of thinkers ruminating on the existence of God. Paired with the song title, the samples gently guide the listener toward the duo’s reflective state.
Fans of Rodrigo y Gabriela’s early albums will find much to enjoy on 9 Dead Alive. The duo has continued their journey toward creating a unique sound that stands astride the disparate worlds of flamenco, tango, rock, metal, and countless other genres. What ties everything into a unified whole are their remarkable guitar chops and their outright refusal to rest on their laurels.