Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s have been around for nearly a decade now, and it seems like almost yesterday I heard their music. A few years ago before I got into any sort of independent music I had a friend mention something about this small band from Indianapolis that was stirring up some noise. I can’t fathom the amount of times I’ve gone through their entire discography and just embraced the pulsating aura that vibrates the soul with every chord in each of their songs. Slingshot To Heaven is no different from their other albums, and definitely follows the persona the band tries to fulfill.
Margot has not made any changes to their core composition over the past decade, and it shows in every song they produce. Slingshot To Heaven is a little bit lighter than their other productions, but it comes across as more conceptual in nature. It reminisces of not just life on the West Coast, but ultimately life anywhere except for “here”. Every song conveys an idea of being alone or living in another place that is not the present. “Hello San Francisco”, “Los Angeles”, and “Long Legged Blonde Memphis” are all direct references to famous cities located around the United States, and all fantasize about being there in the moment rather than stuck in the current life. The concept of growing up and wanting to be someone different in another place is a new idea from the group, and it sets a hopeful precedent for future albums.
Generally speaking every song is superb, but “Gettin’ Fat” and “Wedding Song” are a break from the album and don’t fit in well at all. “Gettin’ Fat” seems bland and repetitive, with “Getting Fat” repeating ad infintum while an out of place jubilant tone floods each word that is sang. With that being said the acoustics in the song really call home to other albums, specifically “Animals!”, as it is upbeat and bodes quite exquisitely with the lead melody, such as straying when the chorus plays and reunifying when the main vocal track is being sang. “Wedding Song” is just off the beaten path at the end of the album. It begins with weird elevator music that cuts off for ten seconds of silence and then cuts to the song. It kills the whole relaxing vibe that radiates off the album and is disappointing in general. The song itself is not half bad, but the off-putting opening is arguably the worst part of the entire album, because it is just too out of place and makes absolutely no sense.
The pinnacle of the album is by far “Go to Sleep You Little Creep”, as it executes the bildungsroman concept masterfully. Flashing back to his youth, Edwards, the vocalist, recreates his childhood dreams, imagining what his future held for him. They are no longer young individuals producing music for fun – now they have families, children, and other responsibilities. The song creates a mood of melancholy as he questions his every decision and tries to suppress his inner child and stick with his current aspirations. Albeit not realistically envisioning of his future in the context of the song, he ponders a scenario of growing up to be a dog or a cow, and accepts his faith upfront. The midlife crisis and reality of current scenarios runs evident in this song, and sums up the point of the album: stick with what you have and recognize you can only move forward with your dreams.
As with my last couple of reviews it is evident that I don’t like putting numbers on albums, as music is an art and is entirely subjective and saying months worth of effort by artists is either a “10” or a “8” seems silly, so I will continue to not give specific “ratings”, but I highly recommend picking up this album and checking out the group if you’ve not heard of them before. Their natural songs and wholesome beats entice you more and more with every song, eventually roping you into loving them for exactly what they are, down to earth and realistic. Although, if you have not heard of them before, I would recommend listening to “Animals!” (and “Not Animals!”, the version created by their label with different song lineup) first to get a grasp of where they have come from.