Release Date: Mar 20, 2012
Record label: Mariel
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Chamber Pop
Review Summary: A gnarled, distorted respite from sanity.Have you ever been so far removed from the reality of a situation that you can’t even make sense of it anymore? What started as the smallest of triggers erupted into a full-blown meltdown, and now you can’t tell whether you’re angry, sad, confused, or too numb to even identify what the hell you are. That indefinable sensation is a lot like Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s fifth album, Rot Gut, Domestic. Unstably swaying to and fro like a vehicle precariously balanced on a cliff ledge, it plants one foot firmly in reality while leaving the other dangling and threatening to lose balance completely.
For lack of a more clever word, Rot Gut, Domestic, the fourth studio album from Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s rocks, and that’s not something I thought I would ever write about Margot, a group whose roots are more orchestral indie pop than anything else. Rot Gut, Domestic carries a coarser, grainier sound than previous albums, like a layer of wet sand heaped on and massaged into their typically sweeter sound. That’s not a complaint; Rot Gut, Domestic succeeds because its tone is so dark, its bitter lyrics and gravelly guitars completely at home, as if these tales of the lovelorn and self-hating were produced by Jack White with a healthy injection of Black Keys.
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 members of both Califone and Red Red Meat, is apparent from the first strains of the trudging "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.
Past criticisms of Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s read as follows: They can be too precious and simultaneously morose; they take themselves too seriously; and, according to some sources, they didn’t really start putting out solid material until the 2010 release of their fourth album, Buzzard. While critics have been known to be tough on this perpetually on-the-verge group, Margot and co. have maintained a fan base as loyal as the detractors are harsh.