Music Reviews
Of Montreal

Of Montreal

Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?


Soul music for electronic fans! Prince heads up The Decemberists! The Kinks meets the Scissor Sisters! Brian Wilson goes disco!

Such is the mashup that hails from the college-rock capitol of the ’80s (Athens, GA of course), Of Montreal they’re called. On their latest breath of fresh air, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, Kevin Barnes leads his bizarre band of intellects into territories not recently explored in the pop world.

Resulting from a “dark period” in the life of Mr. Barnes during which he and his wife lived in Norway, had a daughter, moved back to Georgia, split from his wife, treated heartbreak with heavy drinking and eventually reunited with his family, the ebbs and flow of the album are manic.

Barnes’ falsetto yelps and Beach Boy-ian “oohs and ohs” bounce along over synthesizers and drum-machine beats. Songs like “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse,” “Gronlandic Edit” and “Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider” will leap out of your chosen sound system and intoxicate you into a deliriously smiling state. Don’t try to understand the psychedelic titles, just go with it.

Even the packaging of this album is unique and trippy. Once slipped out of it’s clear plastic casing, it unfolds like a flower. Practical? No, but who cares. It’s a lighthearted and childlike approach to packaging that’s in keeping with the flow of the music.

Of Montreal:

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