Upon First Listen: A run through Skeletal Lamping

16 09 2008

After the combined critical and fan praise of their last effort, Of Montreal set out to record a more ambitious album. In an interview, Barnes stated that the album would be composed of hundreds of short segments ranging from thirty to fifty seconds in length. Barnes also remarked that the forthcoming album will deviate from the traditional pop song structures employed by the group in the past while still retaining the melodic and poppy.


So here we are, first listen… This album is a cluster-fuck of ideas and sounds that have run out of behavior medication. Some are better than others and some bewilder and confuse the listener. As an example, the first song begins with a fast-paced harpsichord and Kevin Barnes lamenting about relationships. Soon after, the song breaks down into a completely different progression and sound. Enter guitar chords big enough to fill an arena and you’re in section three. A wall of sound and quarter note snare drum slams create an aural attack. They then pull out of that with a collage of sounds and kick drum hits, slowly building into a rather simple guitar riff over top of reverberated vocals which end the song. Sounds fun, right?

The album does include lots of great moments. The “Brick House” drum fill in “Wicked Wisdom”, or the keyboard driven break “An Elurdian Instance”. The album also has an array of interesting sexual lyrical images. The “I’m so sick of sucking a dick” opening of St. Exquisite’s Confessions” really is one of the better falsetto tinged openings i’ve heard out of the band. 

Fans of their last album will be content, they’ll even be happy in the fact that the funkier side of the band is still present. Songs from Oh, Hissing Fauna like “Labyrinthian Pomp” and “Fabrege Falls for Shuggie” would fit into the fabric that is Skeletal Lamping according to lead singer and bandleader Kevin Barnes, or must I say Georgie Fruit.

Georgie Fruit, similar to Ziggy Stardust, is the alter-ego of Kevin Barnes when he’s on stage. In his recent Pitchfork interview, Barnes described Fruit:

“The character’s name is Georgie Fruit, and he’s in his late forties, a black man who has been through multiple sex changes. He’s been a man and a woman, and then back to a man. He’s been to prison a couple of times. In the 70s he was in a band called Arousal, a funk rock band sort of like the Ohio Players. Then he went through a few different phases.”

Look for a Fabakis endorsed review of the album shortly before Skeletal Lamping hits shelves on October 27th. Until then check out these gig-posters!




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