Mass adulation, not so funny

Andrew VanWyngarden proves that even cool bands have bad tattoos
The guys who live upstairs from me are, to put it delicately, dudes. Or, to put it less delicately, meatheads. They’re nice guys who drive a massive pickup truck, scream at the TV when they watch hockey and throw drunken ragers that tend to get violent at around three in the morning. For music, they favour AC/DC, top 40 rap and…MGMT. Over the past few months I’ve frequently heard “Kids” blasting through my ceiling, proving once and for all that MGMT is the most populist of all hipster bands.

Not to sound like an elitist snob (the blogger doth protest too much, methinks), but the guys upstairs aren’t so likely to enjoy the band’s latest single, “Flash Delirium.” In fact, I’m not sure that I enjoy it either. It takes a shock-and-awe approach to songwriting, blazing through numerous stylistic shifts and disorienting changes. With lite-funk grooves, tuneless group shouting, and beach pop harmonies, it’s barely even recognizable as MGMT—at least until the final minute, when a hook finally emerges in the form of a triumphant backing vocal. Of course, it speeds up to a breakneck noise rock freakout in the final few seconds.

Clearly, MGMT is a band out to prove a point. If I could invent a genre to describe this song, it would be called “definitely not boring.”

MP3: “Flash Delirium”
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