Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s – Slingshot To Heaven
Once upon a time there was a band called Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s. In 2005, they released a lovely, sad, and bittersweet album called The Dust Of Retreat that was so good they were snapped up by a major label. They were going to be the next big thing. But it didn’t work out. There were ‘musical differences’ between the label and the band. So much so that when their next record eventually appeared in 2008 there were two versions of it, one called Not Animal that was supported by the label and one called Animal! that was promoted by the band (geddit?). Both were full of almost unbearably beautiful songs, suggesting that all the fighting wasn’t really worth it. Understandably, the label and the band parted company. The band was now very angry. They released two raucous and utterly unlistenable albums that bore no relation to anything they’d done before. They disappeared from musical view, becoming just another band in the ‘what might have been’ category. But now, wonder of wonders, they’re back. From the very first chords of the opening track, ‘Hello, San Francisco’, you can tell that Margot have made the return journey. The uplifting, yet world-weary cadence that was once the hallmark of the band’s very best songs is right up front for all to hear. And it’s not the only example. Slingshot To Heaven is full of trademark Margot-of-old sounds. ‘Flying Saucer Blues’ is one of the most gorgeous songs they’ve ever written. ‘Gettin’ Fat’ is leaner and more attractive than you might think. And, while most of the songs are based around an acoustic theme, when they do hit the guitars on ‘Long Legged Blonde Memphis’, it’s more in the spirit of ‘Skeleton Key’ from The Dust Of Retreat than anything from Buzzard or Rot Got, Domestic. But this isn’t the sound of a band going backwards. This is a band returning to what they’re really good at. And while it might be an exaggeration to say they’re better than ever, they’re certainly as welcome as they were all those years ago.