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Finding the darker side 'Of Montreal'

By Andrea Aguirre
On February 8, 2012

  • Of Montreal “Paralytic Stalks” Polyvinyl. Photo courtesy of

Of Montreal, with their un­usual sound and out-there perfor­mance style, do not often produce music for the masses. Their new al­bum, "Paralytic Stalks" is no excep­tion.

Blending electro-pop with clas­sical music, they delve into a world of hurt, hate and desperation that is sure to impress fans and critics alike. Although the theme of pain and suffering is not new, listeners beware, "Paralytic Stalks" is not for the faint of heart.

With their poetic lyrics and of­ten discordant instrumentals, many of the songs on the album give the impression of rawness, and the desperation of lead singer Kevin Barnes' vocals only adds to the ef­fect. From the first minute of "Gelid Ascent" to the last minute of "Au­thentic Pyrrhic Remission," "Para­lytic Stalks" is a downward spiral into a pit of despair.

Fans can look forward to a hand­ful of great tracks, including "We Will Commit Wolf Murder" and "Ye, Renew the Plaintiff." "Malef­ic Dowry," which packs a serious amount of emotion into a surpris­ingly short amount of time with its fantastic lyrics, also ranks high on the list.

"Wintered Debt," another pow­erful song, has a quality of bro­kenness similar to that of "Malefic Dowry," but it has a more suicidal mood. With beautiful, eerie instru­mentals and vocals that oscillate between angry and accepting, the song is a descent into an emotional darkness and breakdown.

Barnes saved the best for last. The album's closing track, "Authen­tic Pyrrhic Remission," is the most impressive. With its upbeat opening lines, the listener is led to believe that they are leaving the album on a happy and hopeful note, only to find that this dream has become a nightmare.

Overall, the album is well put-together and highly cathartic. While the emotions expressed are chaotic and destructive, the music that carries them flows into a solid, if unrefined, work of art.

Andrea Aguirre can be reached at

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