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. Fred Thomas, Rovi
- Chamber Pop, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
- MARIEL RECORDING CO.
- March 20, 2012
- Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
- Megan Connelly (Vocals), Jill Weiss (Vocals), Richard Edwards (Vocals), Katie Todd (Vocals), Tyler Watkins (Vocals)