Melissa Nannen

The Margaret Hooligans’s latest album asks a number of essential questions. How stripped down can music get? How harsh can it be? And how sloppy could it become before people start assuming that the band has no clue what they’re doing. It even throws some attempts at answering those questions.

The Margaret Hooligans are a horribly distorted guitar and mish-mash drums duo from Bala Cynwyd. Their sound is distinguishably referred to as “chaotic sloppiness” by the band themselves. It’s a character they are retaining from

their previous albums, and even developing, with tighter production, and uglier songwriting. The product is endlessly brutal. A 49-minute-long release of pure noise, rapturing distortion, and heavily pounded drums.

The compositions are clearly minimalistic… who needs chords anyways? or melodies?… Sigh. The production is, indeed, snappy. For such a manic collection of sounds, the madness comes through in a calculated sort of disorganization, the kind that knows that work is needed but is intentionally slacking off from it because it’s a “part of the trick”. The songs are a steady stream of menacing riffs, played with a dash of rage, and a whole lot of humor. With witty, tongue-in-cheek lyricism about interesting and novel ideas, the words truly play a huge part in the sound. With the voice being the sole conveyer of any melodic structure, the words have a ton of pressure to be entertaining, meaningful, serious enough, and with a healthy dose of wit and character… The heat is on. How do they fare? They fare well. The words are about a number of unique ideas, Silicon Valley billionaires who are into questionable financial practices, drunken housewives having it up to their knees, and a humorously creepy take on the already creepy ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. A sweet homage to The Who’s infamous duo, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey, and their rocky relationship over the years, which happens to be of massive influence to the group. 

A hardcore release who’ll definitely not have much appeal to the masses, but that’s predictable. What matters most is that the duo seem to be having a proper blast throughout all of it. An infectious energy that prevails throughout the whole album, and if you’re into this kind of thing, you will be guaranteed to vibe with them for the craziest 50 minutes of your month.