MGMT (Columbia)




On the sanity scale, MGMT's orbiting comfortably somewhere between Diamond Dogs-era David Bowie and Syd Barrett. Having committed commercial seppuku with 2010's Congratulations, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser attempt once more to redefine themselves on third LP MGMT with varying degrees of success. This is the sound of a high-minded band left to its own devices and with budget to spare. Psych oddity "Alien Days" opens on cloud nine, all riddles and reverb, and the album doesn't come back down until the after burn "An Orphan of Fortune" sets in. There are highlights: warped acid-pop ballad "Introspection," space aquatic "Plenty of Girls in the Sea," and "Mystery Disease," which explores the dark terror of manic depression with panning synths and a madcap beat that channels their Flaming Lips collaboration. MGMT's still reacting to the mainstream triumph of 2008's Oracular Spectacular, trying too hard to sound genuinely weird, as if determined to fail at any cost. (Sunday, 6:50pm, Orange stage)


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
Brian Eno
Music for Installations (Record Review)

Dan Gentile, Dec. 7, 2018

Texas Platters
Jeffrey Zeigler/Golden Hornet
The Sound of Science (Record Review)

Jeremy Steinberger, Nov. 30, 2018

More by Austin Powell
Record Review: The Young
Record Review: The Young

Aug. 22, 2014

Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Oregon fest boasts IPAs, ATXs, camping, and sustainability

Aug. 4, 2014


Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013, MGMT

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle