Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s invade Otto’s

By Jerene-Elise Nall

Indie group Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s will headline Thursday night at Otto’s, 118 E. Lincoln Highway. With their most recent release, Happy Hour at Sprigg’s Volume 1: Live and Acoustic, Margot proves that it is ready to let its subtle maturation as a band shine.

As a huge fan of their 2006 release, The Dust of Retreat, I immediately cleared my schedule for this show. I hadn’t listened to Margot much in the last year, but nostalgia sparked my excitement and led me to reacquaint myself with their music.

While The Dust of Retreat holds plenty of sentimental value, it continues to hold its own as a fresh, original, and beautifully-composed album. I was surprised to find myself listening to it with much-evolved ears, still finding it as haunting and mesmerizing as I had years ago.

Although the band’s sound is difficult to pin down, fans of groups like Bright Eyes and Death Cab for Cutie are sure to love Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s. The band’s intensely melodic vocals combined with an interesting mix of percussion, violin and guitar make for songs that both excite and haunt. The band’s sound on its own would be enough to draw listeners in, but with such comfortable and familiar subject matter as cats, alcohol and unrequited love, the band becomes a friend rather than simply a sound.

This rehashing of an old favorite led to a hint of fear upon listening to Happy Hour at Sprigg’s. I was afraid that a new release from Margot wouldn’t come close to an old friend like The Dust of Retreat, but Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s have proved me wrong.

The band’s newest EP, which features songs from their 2010 release Buzzard, as well as some previously unreleased tracks, is definitely praise-worthy. Their music has evolved considerably, but holds true to its roots. The vocals have grown more haunting, the melodies more robust, and the talent even more apparent than in earlier releases.

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s continue to soldier on, slightly below the radar but absolutely deserving of a listen.