- Doug Johnstone
- 8 May 2008
The Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Fri 9 May
A lot of bands take themselves too seriously, but not MGMT. For evidence, get yourself to YouTube and check out the video for fantastic recent single ‘Time to Pretend’, a song satirising the glamorous rock’n’roll myth. It’s the most preposterous and hilarious psychedelic melange this side of Woodstock: our favourite part is where the singer shoots a flaming arrow at the big flying sabre-toothed crab-monster and millions of dolphins fly out. Really.
The Brooklyn-based five-piece, based around college pals Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, have somewhat stumbled into the music business, and are having the time of their lives as a result. Having recorded a few demos together, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser went their separate ways, only to subsequently come to the attention of Steve Lillywhite, über-producer and A&R man, who signed them to a six-figure, four-album deal with Columbia.
Cue much hype from the likes of Rolling Stone and Spin, the making of a fantastic modern psychedelic country rock opus called Oracular Spectacular (as silly and brilliant as its title suggests), and a recent appearance on David Letterman’s show dressed in matching capes.
And so the nonsense continues. In a recent online Q&A, VanWyngarden described himself as ‘a Roman centurion trapped in a disorientating, all-enveloping futurescape’, then revealed that he’d like to die by sublimating on the sun’s surface. Take that, The Kooks. So, the retro-future is here to poke fun at rock’n’roll, it’s dressed in Mad Max outfits and body paint, and it sounds amazing. Enjoy the trip.