Of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks - - 2012 Alt Indie Rock 180 Grm Yellow Vinyl 2LP

In stock

Of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks

Label: Polyvinyl Records – PRC-233
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Yellow
Has pic insert
180 gram
Country: US
Released: 07 Feb 2012
Genre: Pop, Rock
Style: Alternative Rock, Pop Rock, Indie Rock


A1 Gelid Ascent 4:09
A2 Spiteful Intervention 3:38
A3 Dour Percentage 4:35

B4 We Will Commit Wolf Murder 5:30
B5 Malefic Dowery 2:37
B6 Ye, Renew The Plaintiff 8:47

C7 Wintered Debts 7:37
C8 Exorcismic Breeding Knife 7:40

D9 Authentic Pyrrhic Remission 13:16

Barcode and Other Identifiers
Barcode: 44110 02331

There are so many things happening on the Of Montreal album Paralytic Stalks, so many horns and strings and layered harmonies swirling together at the same time — not to mention the whirs, beeps and chimes whose sources you might not be able to place — that it’ll leave you with a feeling akin to waking from a particularly bizarre dream.

Take for example, the album’s fourth track, “We Will Commit Wolf Murder.” The off kilter, synth-heavy pop song doesn’t have a chorus, but is instead tied together by one line repeated across several verses by Of Montreal lead singer Kevin Barnes.

“There’s blood in my hair,” he sings — almost happily, it seems — but never explains why it’s there or whose veins it came from. Go on, just tell me you haven’t ever had a nightmare like that before.

But, like a dream, Of Montreal’s experimental weirdness is grounded in a reality we recognize. Barnes has released an album nearly every year — never going more than two — since Of Montreal’s 1997 debut, Cherry Peel.

Back then, Of Montreal was mostly a solo project, and Barnes worked in a traditional 1960s-inspired pop-rock vein similar to his Elephant 6 companions Apples in Stereo and Olivia Tremor Control. (Elephant 6 was a collection of likeminded, likesounded indie rock bands based in Denver and Athens, Georgia in the 1990s—Barnes wasn’t a founding member but he was associated with them).

But over time, he slowly traded in his 2- and 3-minute Beatle-esque pop melodies for long, experimental soundscapes woven together with the help of computers. A lot of computers. That’s why Barnes expands his musical project to include dozens of multi-instrumentalists during concerts — there’s no way one man could perform this psychedelic carnival on his own.

Paralytic Stalks is equally eclectic — I can’t think of a contemporary music genre that isn’t featured here in some form or another — but the result is completely different.

The album’s nine songs still have their catchy, danceable moments, but they’re often sandwiched between meandering, almost avant-garde compositions and ominous, atonal scores.

The last half of Paralytic Stalks features a set of experimental suites that range between seven and 13 minutes long. Synthesizers, violins, and electric guitar create a cacophonous sound as Barnes varies his falsetto voice on double- and triple-tracked harmonies by changing his distance from the mic.

The result is a frenetic, attention-starved album that, if it were a child, would almost certainly be put on Ritalin. Barnes’ lyrics are equally unhinged; in addition to the references to hair blood, they also mention exposed brains, parasites and the time Barnes slipped on his own vomit. But they’re not always discernible over the multi-instrumental clamor. It’s possible to listen to the entire record without any idea of what the songs are about.

For example, once you wade through a minute and 25 seconds of space age noises and random mutterings on the opening track “Gelid Ascent,” Barnes breaks out into a thrilling rock song that’s surprisingly reminiscent of Oasis’ early days.

The first single, “Dour Percentage” is a psychedelic, disco dance song. It would fit easily on Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer?, Of Montreal’s 2007 album that perfectly mixed Barnes’ traditional rock-pop melodies with his then-new experimental tendencies.

And “Wintered Debt” is a beautiful piece that begins as a quiet and subdued as a lullaby, layers on some elegant harmonies and then explodes into truly raucous baroque orchestral pop.

But it only lasts for a little while; the last three minutes of the song are filled with something that sounds like a Twilight Zone score. In a sense, “Wintered Debt” operates as three different songs in one.

That’s the joy of Of Montreal’s increasing madness; the songs on Paralytic Stalks can be endlessly dissected into their various components or they can be experienced together as a convoluted picture of one man’s bizarre musical imagination. Barnes still writes the occasional Beatle-esque melody. But these days, he may be more interested in “Revolution 9.”

Of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks

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Freebird Live, Jacksonville, Fl. 3/7/2012

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Of Montreal - Dour Percentage

@ Alabama Music Box 3/9/2012

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More Information
Condition New
Format 2LP
Label Polyvinyl Record Co.
Color Yellow