Of Montreal

Indie rock works in discordance to popular music, that much we know. But let's be honest; without pop there is no indie, and without indie there is no reason to shred the whole thing in a blender. The albums released by Elephant 6 Collective offshoot Of Montreal sound like a compilation of B-sides culled from Rubber Soul to Like a Virgin, with a bit of Smiley Smile and cinematic Bowie thrown in for good measure. Formed by Kevin Barnes in Athens, Georgia, in the early Nineties, the group has earned the rare indie rock veteran status, although the roster changes often. Of Montreal's latest, The Sunlandic Twins, could be the band's best to date, but when the formula for success — off-kilter arrangements and incongruous choruses — hasn't changed so much as grown weirder, it's difficult to say. On The Sunlandic Twins, Barnes is said to have dabbled in influences such as Eno, Afrobeat, and prog rockers King Crimson. A few years ago Of Montreal released an album lambasting George W. Bush, but true to form on the most recent disc, the band morphs obscure lyrics into euphoric and highly danceable music. "Let's pretend we don't exist/Let's pretend we're in Antarctica" is one example, and with open bass lines and basic operatic electro dance pop riffs, the music hooks you with cacophonous tremolo. If that sounds confusing, it all adds up to Of Montreal's version of indie pop: expansive and emotive, and some might say masterful.


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