Margot Ditches Label to Find Mainstream Appeal In Tongue-in-Cheek Tracks

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s doesn’t like to produce hits for the purpose of lining their record label’s wallets. After all, their sophomore album was released during a disagreement with Epic Records — a dispute that resulted in two versions of the record: the band’s more complex tracklist, Animal!, and the label’s parred-down version, Not Animal. But now that the band has signed to indie label Mariel Recording Company, they have the opportunity to hone a sound that is all their own — drama free.

Buzzard is a versatile album, filled with the mellow tracks the band is known for, while still exploring louder soundscapes. The songs, varied as their musical style can be, are united under one message that permeates Buzzard’s eccentric track list: Let your freak flag fly.

There are songs like “Earth to Aliens: What Do You Want,” a mournful ballad with a quirky edge that plays like an ode to Bill Nye the Science Guy. It can’t help but speak to the inner nerd in all of us wondering what lies beyond the stars.

Lead singer Richard Edwards goes on to advocate giving our mouths a dose of a different hue with the catchy-as-hell chorus of “Let’s Paint Our Teeth Green,” while the rest of the band throws in some scratchy, Black Keys-style guitar riffs.

There are more odd tracks that suggest the extraordinary: “Tiny Vampire Robot” is a love song to — you guessed it — mechanical bloodsuckers (that don’t sparkle in the sun), “Lunatic, Lunatic, Lunatic,” addresses the woes of a girl who really does paint her teeth green, while a mixture of animals, bluesy tunes and birds in “Claws Off” completes the variety.

The intriguing song titles and cunning lyrics of Buzzard give the album a solid place among the more acoustic Margot pantheon. The amplified guitars and heavier drumming, however, take it to the blurred edge where independent meets mainstream, giving the work a more widespread appeal.

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