It's only been a few months since I was introduced to the bleak mid-western indie rock of Margot & The Nuclear So and So's, but for this bizarre ensemble it was love at first listen. Standing in the eager crowd at the Neurolux, my expectations we're already high. Margot, however, exceeded them. When the small army that is the band—all eight of them—took the stage, chain-smoking frontman Richard Edwards led the way through a lengthy set from both studio releases The Dust of Retreat and Animal!/Not Animal. While a contingent of hardcore fans never ceased jumping around, the better known pieces such as "Broadnipple is Burning" and "As Tall As Cliffs," had nearly the whole audience crooning "I'll be hanging from rope / I will haunt you like a ghost." Cheery sentiments to come together to.
By the end of the show, multi-instrumentalist Erik Kang had wailed his violin till the bow strings frayed into a static hairball, setting it down only to play the most tripped-out lap guitar I've ever heard, bearing no resemblance to Nashville twang.
The dual rhythm section of Chris Fry and Casey Tennis, the first on a kit and the second on an assemblage of a standing bass drum and assorted percussion, united to beat everything from a first shaking tempo to a sedated background thrum. Behind her wooden Rhodes piano—an artifact appearing from a bygone musical era—keyboardist Emily Watkins said that this was the first time the Indianapolis band had ever set foot in Idaho. I, for one, hope it will be the first of many.