THE MARGARET HOOLIGANS
Bala Cynwyd, United States
‘Oh Lord, Hit It’ is the opening track on The Margaret Hooligans newest musical wonderment, Turntable Tribulations and it's such a good open that I had to steal it for myself. Turntable Tribulations is a collection of hard-hitting, bloody-nose rock songs that will have you moving and laughing whether you like it or not. (But we all know that you like it, don’t be coy)
‘Oh Lord, Hit It’ opens us up, and what an open it is. The percussive stylings of The Margaret Hooligans are standout and second to none, it calls you to action as soon as the beat kicks in, and it never stops. I don’t hear anyone complaining about that. It's rhythmic, the guitar is loud and raunchy, and the vocals are clean, cutting the rich rock tones with ease. The song is sapphire - by that I mean blues kicked into overdrive - and is a great introduction to the album as a whole. They use bongos, every drum and pattern you can think of, crank the guitar to 12 or 13 and then shout about it. What’s not to like?
I will be completely honest, my favourite aspect of Turntable Tribulations are the brief clips of shouting vocals that act like drum fills from time to time, they add so much personality and humanity to the music. Plus some of them are wild and weird and if you know me you know that’s what I die for in music. Why not be weird, it always sounds fantastic. Take for example, ‘Good Morning Micro Man’ which on its own would be a smashing rock offering. Add in some amazing vocal lines, drum patterns and textures that are so under-appreciated nowadays and the call and response of the two vocalists, and you’ll find yourself coming back to the song again and again as I have.
The angsty and loud sounds of The Margaret Hooligans continue to smash out tracks as we go, ‘Red Rider’ uses more classical drumming and guitar techniques and proves that they can hit as hard as anyone else in the space, the vocals hit some great heights amongst the crying guitars and tapping percussion. ‘Fat Tongue’ cannot be missed. Strange and beautifully musical, it is amazing what can be done with just drums and vocals, it proves to be a great track that blows up at the end. ‘Pete and Roger’ is punk at its core. What a load of fun it is to listen to this track. It oomphs. You’ll know what I mean when you listen to it, it oomphs and it's a great old oomph.
Heading into the end of the album we get into some of the more experimental sounds of The Margaret Hooligans. Conversational opens to ‘Feedback’ that add character to a smashing track. ‘Bippity Boppity’ plays with discordant guitar patterns and vocals, backed by their trademark percussion, to deliver something loud, toothsome and classic. A massive-sounding song that doesn’t lose the weirdness I’ve come to love the more and more I listen to this album. ‘I’ve Got Something To Say’ is a modern-sounding rock song. It pushes and pulls with grit and the vocals belt it, it keeps to its musical roots and we can hear some of the influences at work in the background; although deciphering them is a task in itself as the music still comes out sounding astonishingly unique.
Now, ‘Psycho Diapers’, the end of Turntable Tribulations, is the most Margaret Hooligan that The Margaret Hooligans ever get. I am amazed by this band. They have established their own sound within such a short space of time, so much so that they then explore their own style in this last 11 minute song. It pushes the boundaries with an endlessly impressive drum backing that takes centre stage. The guitar plays many parts and the vocals work together to create something akin to a sonic play. Acts come and go as sounds and
melodies clash and bite, and we are left exploring the musicality left behind. Turnstile Tribulations is an album that knocked me sideways so many times that I came full circle, and all I can say is thank you.