Experimentation can be hit or miss, and on Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s new album Buzzard, the results are mixed. “Birds” kicks off aggressively with piano-drenched verses and a fuzzy, guitar-heavy chorus, while lead singer Richard Edwards memorably pleads, “Let’s have a baby.” The next stand-out, “Claws Off,” pairs steel guitar with bitter, frustrated lyrics like, “If you wanna go, get lost/If you wanna stay, shut up.” On “Lunatic, Lunatic, Lunatic,” a quiet guitar line sets a gentle backdrop to a sad but optimistic speech that turns jarringly misogynistic. The So & So’s round out the record with an understated acoustic number, “I Do.” Edwards’ voice and a guitar line are the only instruments here, which is especially refreshing after such a dense record. Unfortunately, most of Buzzard lacks hooks, and the band’s tons of noisy guitars and fuzz tend to blur together. Still, there are gems on Buzzard, and for a group that’s known for its sweet style, Margot et al. pull off some attempts at a darker, heavier sound, giving them even more avenues to explore on the next record.
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