Friday, October 23, 2009

Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic

Of Montreal – Satanic Panic in the Attic
Polyvinyl, 2004
Acquired: Reckless Records, Chicago, IL, Used, 2007
Price: $10

Satanic Panic in the Attic was the toast of the indie kids at high school during second semester of senior year. It was the first time any of us had heard Of Montreal and we were freaking out. I remember Nick Summers and I lobbied for it in drawing class, and would make an effort to get there every morning before the asshole dudes who always insisted on Lynyrd Skynyrd. These guys were assholes, and wouldn't even put up with the Shins! Though I'm sure those guys LOVE the Shins. And one of the dudes, their leader, thought Pink Floyd was coming to Lawrence. He bragged about already having tickets before someone told him it was a Pink Floyd tribute band and that Pink Floyd had disbanded a long time ago. He looked so sad. This guy also drew a realistic drawing of Lynyrd Skynyrd for a project. The project was “Draw something that makes you emotional,” or something like that. To put this in scope, I drew something about the Holocaust. So, yeah. Anyway, the guy called us a couple of fags when we played this. I don't know why though, because Kevin Barnes hadn't even started playing up the homoerotic schtick yet. This was just some straight up weidro indie-pop, this time with tons of driving synthesizers. At the same time, all those summery indie-pop elements that made Of Montreal great to begin with are still here, even though this was the first Of Montreal record Kevin Barnes made pretty much by himself. However, the best tracks are the full on electro-pop sex jams like “Rapture Rapes the Muses,” “Disconnect the Dots,” “Lysergic Bliss,” and “Vegan in Furs.” “Rapture Rapes the Muses” is the gem here, though, and one of my favorite songs Kevin Barnes has written. The line “You hit me so hard like a Wong Kar Wai beginning” killed me, as I was just beginning my film geekdom. I also remember Taylor Ford and I discussing the songwriting here, at some point during college. Notably the line “You keep me lit like antediluvian Troy/ But one always reveres what one's bound to destroy.” The words not only perfectly aid the vocal line, but it's fucking WEIRD and at the same time it flows off the tongue. Certain tracks are a hybrid of the two and they work marvelously, like “My British Tour Diary.” I will say though, “Disconnect the Dots” would be on the soundtrack to my high school years. Come to think of it, that might be a fun project! Twenty songs that represent high school, because the soundtrack certainly run through my head when I ruminate on my formative years at Olathe East. I think Kevin Barnes was always weird, and looking at the direction the band has taken, it seems like a logical progression (though Skeletal Lamping might be the first of many missteps, as Barnes seems to have been completely taken over by the Georgie Fruit persona). Maybe they jumped the shark when pictures of his dick showed up on the internet, I don't know. But I have faith! Things will work out!

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