Friday, February 10, 2012

Of Montreal's Paralytic Stalks

Whatever happened to the little indie pop band Of Montreal? Way back around 2001 they were so good, so twee, and so poppy and so in love with the Kinks it hurt. Then something happened. I don't know what and I don't know why but that jangly quirky indie pop band that I'd come to enjoy was gone. Now Of Montreal is a strange psychedelic acidic rock band that's gotten lost in the outer reaches of our galaxy and don’t seem too interested in returning.

Their new album Paralytic Stalks is so out there I think it's gotten lost. This is a trippy, theatrical album that at times sounds like Queen if they never returned from a night at the opera or Styx if they never left Paradise Theater. They are truly a unique band and while they've not lost their pop sensibility, they've surrounded it by so much, "concept," that it’s sometimes hard to find. None the less Paralytic Stalks isn't too’s just different.

Kevin Barnes has one of the most vivid imaginations in indie and his songs have always reflected this. They're intense, colorful and complex creatures. Nowadays his imagination has gone off the chain and no idea is left unused or ignored. As a result, Paralytic Stalks is a psychedelic dream that seems to have come to life. The album weaves in and out of moments of clarity and at times sounds as if Kevin and the band have gone off the deep end repeatedly. It works for them because, quite honestly, if Of Montreal wasn't partially insane they wouldn't be any good.

Intricate, weird, and different Of Montreal's Paralytic Stalks is a cool record that's not immediate as some of their past efforts. The bands ability to meld classic 70's sounds with psychedelic pop and abstract concepts is admirable but almost too weird for its own good. Paralytic Stalks might not be the easiest thing to get into but if you spend some time with this record eventually it will reward you with on heck of a psychedelic experience. That being said...I'd still love to see Kevin and his band come back to earth and return to their indie pop roots.

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