Favorite

Rhythm & Views 

Of Montreal

They say if you hate the weather in San Francisco, wait 30 minutes, and it'll change. On Of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping, it's often less than 30 seconds before a melody sheds its skin and shimmies into a whole new sonic trip.

This Athens, Ga.-based ensemble, anchored by songwriter/vocalist Kevin Barnes, has been a critical darling for some time. Their impish and inventive stylings run the gamut of indie pop, though they've emphasized glam-rock and psychedelia.

Skeletal Lamping picks up the threads from earlier recordings, though there isn't a pop genre on which Barnes doesn't touch. But as much as Of Montreal's music has always been likened to an explosive sound collage, they've never had such a pronounced case of ADD.

Though usually built around a catchy hook or chorus, a song may begin as a quiet ballad, bridge into punk-thrash guitar and then slide into synth-driven disco. Barnes' cheesy falsetto draws from Freddy Mercury and Bowie during his Ziggy phase. It's fun in a mockingly irreverent way, but can just as easily seem redundant or grating.

The lyrics feature scads of bitchy girl-talk and bawdy sexual references. Again, while this can be deliciously tongue-in-cheek, it can also seem silly and gratuitous.

Of Montreal's greatest danger is that their taste for wicked parody overshadows their clear wealth of talent. But as the band seems determined not to take itself seriously, why should we? If Of Montreal is to be more than a novelty band for college radio, they need to create something with more focus and depth.

More by Rick Schwartz

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

The Weekly List: 19 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Laughing Stock: Laff’s and Tears, Plus New Mics

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Their Way

    The Trashcan Sinatras have traveled each and every highway for more than three decades
    • May 10, 2018
  • XOXO...

    What's coming down the music pipeline in the next week.
    • May 10, 2018
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation