Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It's been a week or so since first hearing the albums in their entirety, and I've come to the conclusion that I have been not only let down, but nearly despised. Few of the songs actually end; most just seem to taper off like a drunk who forgot he was speaking. There is no love or passion on these albums, merely a fascination with doing everything the exact opposite of the way they would imagine anyone would appreciate. There are plenty of parts sprinkled throughout that I genuinely love, but not a single song that I can play and not feel frustrated about at some point. Richard Edwards & Co. do not have a bone in their bodies that cares about anyone who listens to their songs. How else can you explain actions like their approach to "Broadripple is Burning": their fans fell in love with it when it first started popping up in setlists, but Margot's reaction was to take it, fuck around with it for a while, publicly express their dislike for it, and finally release - on the label's insistence, no less - the least-inspired version possible. Wait, I take that back: second-least inspired. First place would have to go their live performance of the song. You figured if a band hated a song, they just wouldn't play it (see Radiohead, "Creep"). But Margot goes one step further and plays the song in a pathetic, reluctant way - at most shows, as far as I know. Their indifference bordering on animosity seems to extend to the inner workings of the band as well. Seeing them play on the day their albums released, half of the band wore animal masks, I imagine to tie in to the imagery. The other half didn't have masks, or carried them in their hands. Of the ones that arrived with masks, half (including Edwards) removed them before even playing the first song, while the drummer alone kept his on for the first part of the set. It was confusing, but it also wasn't intentional as far as I could tell - they really just couldn't care less.
Margot has always excelled at evoking moods and atmosphere better than anything else (including songwriting), but their new albums seem to mainly evoke the attitude, "I really don't give a shit." At this point, trying to like Margot & the Nuclear So and So's is like having a crush on a lesbian. It's not that they don't like you; it's that they don't like you or anybody like you.
P.S. - Also their artwork choices are the absolute worst I have ever seen.