It has been a healthy 12-album relationship with Of Montreal, making their latest, Lousy with Sylvianbriar, just another montage to their Instagram-filtered musical career. We have seen them do it all, and by that I mean we have seen them do it before. Yes, we were pleased with the psychedelic indie-pop puberty phase, and again with their Hissing Fauna garage-punk album, and on and on their journey goes.
There is no doubt that Kevin Barnes is absolutely talented; he pulls on every new musical string he can reach for. Of Montreal have travelled far, and now they seem to have landed in the ’60s rock era. But, frankly, Lousy with Sylvianbriar feels more like a respected ending to their musical life than a leap in an unexpected direction.
The album itself is knee-deep in a lofty, picky guitar beat with the vocals stretching not too far from vexatious. Although there is a subtle hint of Iggy Pop-ishness even Cage the Elephant-ing on their first track, the excitement tends to linger, fade, and then bring itself back up.
The entire album feels irrelevant and lost in its entirety. However, one thing this band never fails to provide are outstanding lyrics. In Lousy with Sylrianbriar, the lyrics can be nasty – “I’m a walking mausoleum, the scent of rotting flesh / Mother always loved you best, liked your teeth upon her breast”, in ‘Fugitive Air’ – to beautiful and profound, as in ‘Triumph of Disintegration’: “I had to make myself a monster just to feel something / Ugly enough to be true / And then scratching wildly at the mirror with my heart to see their doleful faces”.
In general, the band has had a good run but it is seems like there is a lack of effort or motivation. Lousy with Sylvianbriar is out of the ordinary, which any fan of Of Montreal would tell you, is not that out of the ordinary.
For more on Of Montreal, visit www.ofmontreal.net.