Of Montreal get "exorcismic"

It’s not easily loved... but this is exactly the album Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal) should have made after False Priest. A needed hard-swerve into a brambly, cacophonous left field.

Paralytic Stalks - Polyvinyl Records (stream it on SPIN while you can...)


--> Listen (via Polyvinyl) Of Montreal - "Dour Percentage"


After grinding out Priest's over-glitzed buffet of booty ballads and tenaciously dance-coaxing, dare-I-say-radio-ready cuts that flirted with mainstream R&B electro-pop, he’s now gone off a different kind of deep end, gurglingly drunk on dissonance.

Paralytic Stalks feels like the face-first thrust into a bucket of ice cubes on the morning after a handful of truly lost weekends (ahem, Skeletal Lamping). Gone are the tasty hooks and big booming bass - this is more craze-eyed pillow-punching pressure releases...

Consistent clichés with this band include rock-crit wondering just “which Kevin Barnes (eccentric head songwriter and, here, producer) you’re going to get

?-"-with each new Of Montreal album.

Is it the sugar-pop flirt, the nightmarish nursery-rhymer or the hyper-existential intellect plucking black pedals of soured psychedelic poetry

? On most songs you get all three, but with Paralytic you mostly get the third, only girded by a new found sense for long tracts of roaring drones and blackhole baroque spirals where orchestral elements bark, chirp and flat out t-bone into each other; it's sometimes like his own take on Stravinsky’sRite of Spring

So, yeah, it gets twisted – not an erratic, maudlin, where-is-my-mind sort of way as he has in the ("grotesque") past, but downright knotty, a storm of ornate strings sawing all ugly and fuzzy synth, blown out feedback, a gnash of dark meditations and thronging tones until your ears drown

No, not easily loved

Unfortunately in Internet world, it probably won’t be easily respected, either (if just for it’s daring). Come to the interdimensional jungle of schizo-grooves and obliterated chamber pop whimsy, bring a machete.

And we're left with a sufficient cliff-hanger, its closer suggesting that this has been a "Pyrrhic" victory... ...has Barnes wrung himself into oblivion, here...or will our hero return again with another dark, dazzling trip?

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