Perhaps my favorite band to come out of the Hoosier state in recent times is Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. My introduction to them came after reading a positive review in “Spin” for “Not Animal” – the album which featured “Broad Ripple is Burning,” one the band’s most well-known singles.
I loved this record and camped out on it for quite a while. However, much to my dismay, the band fell off my radar for a few years.
Earlier this week I was on the hunt for new tunes and found that the band released a brand new LP on April 22. I downloaded it immediately, and I’m happy to report that “Slingshot To Heaven” has all the goods that made me fall in love with this band in the first place.
There’s singer Richard Edwards’ nonchalant-yet-emotive vocal deliver. He has away of effortlessly crooning lines that carry great weight.
Then there’s the dynamic musical delivery of the seven other backing members. The arrangements tend to stick to the realm of gloomy Americana – which compliments Edwards’ delivery – but these guys aren’t afraid to throw in a synth or overly distorted guitar.
What really struck me about this album was the lyrical content. A few of the songs have the sort of girl’s-gone longing that marked their earlier releases, but there’s a strong road-weary thread throughout “Slingshot to Heaven,” accompanied by the landmarks and vices that accompany that lifestyle.
Tracks like “Bleary-eye-d Blue,” “Hello, San Francisco” and “Los Angeles” broadcast that road dog sentiment. Elsewhere on the record, Edwards tries his hand at some Jeff Tweedy-esque abstract metaphors. For example on “I Don’t” the singer drops some bizarre word combinations on top of a woozy acoustic guitar.
Of course, this crew still has a knack for rocking a sing-a-long hook. “Slingshot to Heaven” is solid start to finish (though my favorite tracks are on the first half of the record). Longtime fans should enjoy it, and it’s as good a place to start as any for those new to Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s.