Album Review

of Montreal – “Hissing Fauns, Are You The Destroyer? ” – [Polyvinyl Record Company]

Thurston Hunger   1/25/2007   A Library, CD

Electrodash? A breathlessly peppy release that races beneath synth strobe
lights and under an overriding beacon of solipsism. Kevin Barnes is the
face and pace-car, his voice is nimble in a Scritti-Politti way with
Union Jack underwear to give him a vague Brit-flavor. Wordless ohs and
ahs pop in and out of the pop. There is a superlooped descending oh-oh-oh
on “The Past is a Grotesque Animal” that will make or break a lot of
listeners, I found it worked well…especially as Barnes spews out his
blogorrhoea. Lyrically the songs are tantalizing in a sort of (Robyn)
Hitchcockian way…but seem to revolve around the self-driven disarray
of a person who cruises from crisis to crisis. “Heimdalsgate Like a
Promethean Curse” may even be a hyperkinetic allergic reaction to
a chemical solution. Maybe it will be used in an advert for rainbow
colored Fluoxetine cereal, the breakfast choice for all “nihilists with
good imaginations.” Pieces of philosophy and physics are brought out
like cocktail franks on plates, but ultimately the party is the thing.
I mean *twice* I thought I heard the beat from “Funky Cold Medina.”
Any angst or anomie is erased by the chipper dandiness of these very
catchy digitized daisies. On the lead-off track it seems Barnes has
prescribed his pain relief as a dose of 130 bpm. This is one release
likely to perk up the charts of 2007, but I’m not so sure it won’t crash
right off the cliff on the other side instead of finding a nice mesa or
niche on the flipside. Oh well, get in the car this is what used to be
A.M. radio, enjoy the ride in a VW bug with butterfly stickers.

-Thurston Hunger

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