Release date: 8 October 2013
Psychedelic pop group of Montreal cap off 2013 with their 12th studio album, Lousy with Sylvianbriar. The Velvet Underground comes to mind, especially in the polyphonic harmonies and willful disregard of contemporary pop song structure. There’s way more focus on acoustic/organic sounds in this release than in the past, which is pretty refreshing. of Montreal’s characteristic lo-fi recording is reminiscent of the late-1960s, back when producers were first experimenting with that newfangled stereo business. There is lots of clipping, but it works well. Lousy with Sylvianbriar’s mix focuses on tenor, which is especially evident in the percussion. Frontman Kevin Barnes’s lazy vocals are smack out of some dark, twisted Monterey Pop Festival band. His meandering and nonsensical lyrics straddle the line between awkwardly/hilariously inappropriate and completely asinine. I can’t tell whether or not I should dismiss or be insulted by his overbearing frivolity, and I’m sure “that’s the point.” If I suspend my disbelief and embrace of Montreal’s fuck-all attitude, this album totally works, but it occasionally crosses over to eye-rolling pretention and whimsicality on grim subject matter that just makes me uncomfortable (see “Colossus”). It’s an album dense in composition, lyrical content, and production, but this factor rewards replayability rather than detracts from it. Lousy with Sylvianbriar is a good album for corrupt fun times, and it might even make of Montreal some new fans.
Works for morning shows. Out on Polyvinyl.
Play any, but be careful. NO-PLAYS: #1, #3, #6, #7, #11
Fugitive Air – (4:13)
Obsidian Currents – (3:54)
Belle Glade Missionaries – (5:54)
Sirens of Your Toxic Spirit – (4:06)
Colossus – (3:36)
Triumph of Disintegration – (4:11)
Amphibian Days – (5:04)
She Ain’t Speakin’ Now – (3:40)
Hegira Émigré – (4:02)
Raindrop in My Skull – (2:47)
Imbecile Rages – (4:00)
RIYL: The Velvet Underground, Elephant 6 Collective, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane