Monday, September 27, 2010
Margot & the Nuclear So and So's - Buzzard (2010) (Review)
Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com
Margot & the Nuclear So and So's third full length album Buzzard brings many changes to the seven piece band from Indianapolis. Band members changed, popularity increased and a different record label (their own!) but after the whole Animal!/Not Animal thing who didn't see that coming? (They had a huge dispute with Epic Records on the track order and decided to release both versions, Animal! being Margot's preferred version while Not Animal is Epic's preferred version.) The album was released on Mariel Recordings, their own label they developed after the falling out, with distribution funded through RedEye magazine, a publication from Chicago that's owned by Tribune who also own Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, etc.
Anyway, let's get to the music! This album might have to be listened to a couple of times in order to really appreciate it. Which is kind of how I felt with Not Animal. However, songs like "Birds" and "New York City Hotel Blues" will pick up right where "As Tall as Cliffs" from Animal!/Not Animal left off. Ridiculously catchy but with creativity and a uniqueness that most indie bands should be envious of. A lot of the songs ("Will You Love Me Forever?", "Your Lower Back",) have the same feel as a song like "Cold, Kind and Lemon Eyes" from Animal!/Not Animal or "Dress Me Like a Clown" from Dust of Retreat. You're not sure why you're still listening to the song, but something about it makes you want to, then after a couple listens, you get it.
This is why I love this band and feel that they're so important to music: they do something that no one does. Some songs aren't exactly the most catchiest and lyrically rich songs you've ever heard AT FIRST but eventually, a switch occurs, and you can hear the melody they're creating and the message they're trying to convey. It's something that most bands today are almost afraid to do; to take the chance that their fans could give up on them after one listen.
Surprisingly the lack of piano/keyboardist Emily Watkins doesn't show too much on this new album. Fans worried that Richard Edwards and Watkins are a dynamic duo that without one another, can't make music as brilliant as when they are together (i.e. Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett, Adam Lazzara and John Nolan). After Buzzard, it's clear Edwards and the gang will be just fine.
Key Tracks: "Birds," "New York City Hotel Blues," "Will You Love Me Forever?" and "Claws Off"
Rating: 4 and a half out of 5