After a lukewarm opening track, Of Montreal’s Skeletal Lamping bursts into a blissfully whacked-out barrage of ornate indie erotica. Band leader Kevin Barnes dabbles in as many musical genres as he does alternate personalities, but a cohesive theme of sexual fantasy holds the disc together, despite drastic tonal changes. Bubbly down-tempo interludes, like the piano-in-a-cavern crooner “Touched Something’s Hollow” and the lulling bridge of the endless (in a good way) come-on “Gallery Piece” allow for some breathing room in an otherwise propulsive set.
The album, like most Of Montreal discs, is best taken in as a continuous experience. Each song/segment takes a certain route to fulfill a sexual fantasy, whether it is the straight-faced propositions of acid R&B excursion “St. Exuisite’s Confessions” or the masochistic, love-degradation of Barnes’ Prince-by-way-of-Elephant 6 powerhouse “Wicked Wisdom” (where Barnes unveils one of the album’s protagonist personalities, “I’m just a black shemale…”) each track is an approach to landing a date (or, in this album’s amped fantasy land, a night of multi-faceted, uber-intricate intimacies and carnal gymnastics). “Beware Our Nubile Miscreants” is a definite highlight: a Bowie-esque rocker about a beautiful girl’s scumbag boytoy, with a schizo, genre-bending instrumentation pumped up with drum machines and skittering guitars and overflowing with killer couplets like, “He’s the sort of guy who would leave you in a K-hole / to go play Halo in the other room.” “An Eluardian INstance” fastens a steely melody and whispered verse with rubbery brass bursts and “Plastis Wafers” is a hydra head epic that volleys between blue-eyed, disco soul and a “Sympathy For The Devil”-style coda dirge.
Barnes has created a fantastical, sexual romp that perfectly evolves and continues his growing Of Montreal legacy. The disc is the bombastic audio equivalent of a summer fling, or more likely, a summer orgy.
Favorite Track: “Beware Our Nubile Miscreants”
Reviewer Bio - Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles with a girl and a designer dog. He is in a band by himself, has a myspace account at www.myspace.com/wastedpotentialproduction and a production company at (www.wastedpotentialproductions.com) for freelance film, video and journalism work.