Nihilists With Good Imaginations

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes makes pop music out of guitars, synths, and anxiety. There's no better example of his melodramatic tendencies than "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal," a track off the band's 2007 Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, which catalogs his marital troubles. It's an intoxicating 12-minute descent into madness with the sort of hyperliterate lyrics that leave critics drooling.

If you slowed down his shout-sung lyrics and dropped them into sparser arrangements, you'd have the Magnetic Fields. Consider Stephen Merritt-esque lyrics such as "Somehow you've red rovered/the Gestapo guarding my heart." Of Montreal is anything but sparse, though. It packs in guitar riffs, drum loops, and synths, which push Barnes's lyrics forward into a sort of mania. But when Of Montreal is not sardonically depressed, it can be downright schmaltzy. The band dabbled in self-described "ADD electro cinematic avant-disco" in previous albums such as The Sunlandic Twins. On 2008's Skeletal Lamping, Barnes performs as an alter ego named Georgia Fruit, a 40-year-old post-op African-American man. He claims Fruit was born during the 12 minutes of "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal." We told you it's a magical song.
Fri., April 9, 8:30 p.m., 2010

 
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