With the relentless onslaught of the drums, growling guitar licks, and punchy punk poetry of the lyrics, The Margaret Hooligans have carved out a wacky and wonderful niche entirely their own.
The album as a whole has the bubbling effervescent joy of creative outpouring fizzing throughout. It has a DIY edge but manages to balance this masterfully with slick production and inventive song construction.
The lyrics dance on the edge of abstraction and sometimes just dive right in. It instantly brings to mind Amanda Palmer and The Dresden Dolls both in the power the drums bring to the project and in the poetic power behind the fearless lyricism.
Over the course of the album a few tracks stand out, like ‘Basement Island Girlfriend’ which leans fully into the weird to sing a song about a socially inept man and his love for a blow up doll.
They say that you shouldn’t include in jokes or references in your music… But fuck them right? ‘Eddie The Punk’ is a vicious assault on a creepy dude that just doesn’t seem to be able to read the room. It’s lyrically divine in its venom.
We have mentioned the drums a few times already but if the band has a lead instrument it’s the primal force of the skins and in every song they create a dynamic energy that shifts, shapes, and molds the rest of the music.
The vocals are every bit as bittersweet as the lyrics that drive them and they switch between sugary croon and feral toothed snarling effortlessly.
Personal favourite track is ‘Piety Street Snowball Fight’ which growls with a raw and pure viciousness that feels as fresh as the day it was penned. The growling groove and torrential drums are addictive and the vocal hooks sink their teeth into your flesh and refuse to let go.
The album closes with ‘Americans Hate Americans’ a riotous affair that delivers as much force as any that came before and superbly showcases the irreverent and intelligent mantra of the band.
If this is their debut I cannot wait to see how they evolve from here. Bring on the international tour. We will be in the front row.
Words by Matt Miles