Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s

Animal! Not Animal

[3/5]

[3.5/5]

Signing to a major label might denote a loss of creative control for some bands. Not the case for Indianapolis-based octet Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s. The collective’s double-disc follow-up to their lovely, emotive debut The Dust Of Retreat is essentially a compromise between their artistic sensibility and Epic Records’ vision for the band. The first disc, Animal!, is the band’s selection of the 12 songs they want on their sophomore effort; Not Animal is Epic’s. It is notable that five songs appear on both versions, including the dulcet, explorative “German Motor Car” and the nuanced “Hello Vagina.”

There isn’t really much distinction between the two albums-the songs overlap almost imperceptibly, and the sonic aesthetic and mood are cohesive throughout both. Margot are almost a subtler version of Arcade Fire, hushed and delicate, the musical equivalent of someone whispering sweet nothings in your ear. It doesn’t quite have the emotional snap their debut so admirably possessed, but the musicians have an apparent precision of craft. It’s reassuring to see the congruence between the taste of a band and that of their label. Ironically enough, the label did a little better than the band in this case. (EPIC) Emily Zemler