Just a few short years ago, MGMT was just another NYC buzz band. Perhaps conspicuous in that they unabashedly placed style ahead of substance. I vividly remember a text from a fellow SXSW-attending friend, who upon taking in the first few tunes of a sponsor-laden free MGMT showcase wrote “what the hell is this crap?”
Shortly thereafter, Oracular Spectacular was released and the precocious duo blew up, recruiting a full band and hitting the festival circuit. I was slow to warm to them, based on my friend’s 5-second review, but that debut album grew on me — at least the half of it that was good — and “Kids” turned out to be my jam of the summer.
Now, two years later, MGMT has returned with a polarizing follow-up, Congratulations. Loved or hated, it either marks the band’s creative evolution or their descent into misguided self gratification.
Regardless of your position, it’s inarguable that MGMT are raising the bar when it comes to shocking, memorable and even haunting videos. Take the just released clip for the album’s title track, which features what appears to be the death march of a hairless Dark Crystal muppet across the desert of Tatooine:
It’s a perfectly logical step from the singing stoma eel from the “Flash Delirium” video:
I want what they’re having.