While studying music at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, the pair formed the electronic-rock group MGMT pronounced "management" and played at the college's notorious "clothing optional" dorm. The set list? The Ghost Busters theme song, performed ad nauseam. But whenever VanWyngarden or Goldwasser weren't on a stage, the two wrote more-traditional songs together, with the aim of signing to a major label. Still, when Columbia Records came courting them last year, MGMT couldn't bring themselves to take the process seriously. The disc officially comes out in January but is available on iTunes now. SOUND VanWyngarden and Goldwasser spike their pop songs with plenty of grit: "Kids" is a noisy New Order-style synth jam, the acoustic psych-rocker "Weekend Wars" cribs from the Rolling Stones, and "The Handshake" is a funked-up avant-rock composition that doesn't have traditional choruses or verses. They're a lot better now. The keyboard melody on MGMT's best song, "Time to Pretend," a spoof of the stereotypical rock-star lifestyle, was inspired by the jerky movements of the duo's pet praying mantis. After the insect died, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser kept its egg sac, which soon hatched, unleashing hundreds of baby praying mantises in their house.
1. Little Dark Age
The Number Ones. Album Of The Week. MGMT never had a chance to sell out because they arrived already bought-in. Instead, after finding success on their debut album, the band adhered to the opposite trope, burying their heads further into the sand in their pursuit of music so outwardly antagonistic as to dare listeners to continue riding the hype train. Pulling a Pearl Jam, you could call it.
Despite Making The Best Music Of Their Career, MGMT Are Still Imprisoned By Their Past
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