Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? by Of Montreal

Don't try to make sense of the title. In fact, don't try to make too much sense of anything on this new record. Of Montreal, who are actually of Athens, in Georgia, USA, on their umpteenth record (having debuted in 1997 with Cherry Peel, and have released other incredible titles, such as Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse), have created a wonderment of pop/funk magic. The zany titles don't end with the album either, with songs called 'A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger' and 'Faberge Falls for Shuggie' (in fact, I could probably list all twelve tracks and they'd all be equally cool), but please, please, don't let this deter you from buying this record. Today. Now. Fuck, yesterday, just get your hands on this album, because you won't hear anything like it anytime soon.
Scandanavia lyrical references hint clearly at the Bjork/Sigur Ros/Jenny Wilson/all the other electronic pop and avant garde musicians from that musically adventurous part of the world, because every single track is infused with mischief, wonder, and danceable grooves worthy of Timbaland and N.E.R.D. However, they go a step beyond ANYTHING you can get your hands on right now, with the sliding bass of 'Gronlandic Edit', while the whole record is an endless supply of off-kilter but instantly appealing melodies intact over the band's newly robotic sound.
The record is also the darkest one that the band has made, a breakup album of sorts, with an ongoing theme of transformation, which explicitly takes place on the 12-minute centrepiece, 'The Past is a Grotesque Animal'; the opening few tracks are steeped in regret and sadness, while post 'Grotesque Animal' the album veers towards sexual adventurism as a form of therapy, with 'Bunny Ain't no Kind of Rider' finds the singer searching for a 'lover with soul power'.
But lyrical therapy aside, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer finds a talented band at the height of their powers, and is a rare example of a band trying to step out of their comfort zone and succeeding extraordinarily well. This is an incredible recording.

4 1/2 stars

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home