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Album Review

On their fourth album, Rot Gut, Domestic (fifth, if you include Not Animal as an album instead of a companion piece to its preferred version, Animal!) Chicago indie crew Margot and the Nuclear So and So's rough up the chamber pop sound of their previous releases. The band's involvement with Brian Deck and Tim Rutili, each a member of both Califone and Red Red Meat, is apparent from the first strains of the trudging album opener "Disease Tobacco Free." The song's fuzzy lope is an updated take on the feedbacky slowcore of '90s bands like Codeine or Red Red Meat themselves. Kickoff single "Prozac Rock" follows this '90s-heavy influence with a lazy sunburst of overdriven guitars and west coast imagery that end up sounding like a happier Afghan Whigs than the overblown Arcade Fire-isms of earlier records. There are still more than enough internet-era influences at play, however. Any band so obsessed with filmmaker Wes Anderson that they name an album after his favorite Muppet is going to have some unshakable traces of Radiohead, Bright Eyes, and, well, Wes Anderson soundtracks. Principle songwriter Richard Edwards toys with different approaches to this set of baseline influences. His random howls and interjections of manic laughter on the drunkenly woozy "Shannon" give the song a legitimately uneasy feeling. The story-song "A Journalist Falls in Love with Death Row Inmate #16" shakes up the album's continuity with dark lyrics over a quirky, would-be traditional country & western song.


Formed: 2004 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The dreamy, bittersweet music of Margot & the Nuclear So and So's is primarily the work of singer/songwriter Richard Edwards, who formed the indie rock collective in his native Indianapolis. Named after the Margot Tenenbaum character in Wes Anderson's sophisticated comedy The Royal Tenenbaums, the band took root in 2004, when Edwards decided to flesh out his scenic chamber pop sound with help from guitarist Andy Fry, cellist Jesse Lee, pianist Emily Watkins, trumpeter Hubert Glover, drummer Chris...
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Rot Gut, Domestic, Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
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