with A Hawk and a Hacksaw
By Lash Bower
It’s finally dawning on you that of Montreal is your favorite band. I’ll spare you the superlative laudation of The Elephant Six recording collective from which of Montreal emerged bright-eyed and full of promise more than a decade ago. You already know all about it. You’re their biggest fan.
Founded in Athens, Ga., in 1997, of Montreal began as a lo-fi twee-pop outfit fronted by adequately eyeshadowed indie minstrel Kevin Barnes. of Montreal, a name born from Barnes’ failed romance with a woman from the Canadian city, is an impeccably crafted indie dance-pop quintet complete with the requisite Brian-Wilson-gone-electro ethos they helped pioneer. of Montreal is fun and sweet, a hyperactive psychobabble you can listen to with your mom.
Early incarnations sound most like fellow Elephant Six alumnus Beulah--a disoriented jangle of kindergarten love poems and tin-can recording modus. But relentless touring and recording, the eventual dissolution of Elephant Six, and the subsequent relocation to the Polyvinyl label where the band currently resides, have lent of Montreal an air of maturity. Once a gummy exaggeration of trendy ’90s garage rock, Barnes has guided the band from a staggering and unsure adolescence into a sage—although oft-overproduced—adulthood. The band’s catalogue gets equal rotation at art school dorm room dance parties and on horn-rimmed lovers’ mix tapes.
of Montreal’s latest release, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, also due this Tuesday, Jan. 23, gives fans what you’ve been waiting for: a frenzied, rhythmic pop compendium peppered with sweet and sour love-heartbreak-love-heartbreak fodder. I’ll admit the last couple of releases had the band teetering dangerously close to a mindless conduit for the conveyance of cute pop music. Hissing Fauna, however, assures us that bitter, biting lyrical canon can endure amicably alongside jerky, experimental dance beats.
Given of Montreal’s penchant for costume changes and elaborate makeup, this show will likely be the audacious space jam you’ve come to expect from your favorite band.
of Montreal will play at the Launchpad on Tuesday, Jan. 23, with A Hawk and a Hacksaw. Tickets are $12 and $15, available at virtuous.com and Natural Sound, or without a service fee at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. All-ages.
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