I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Polyvinyl records is pure genius. I have yet to experience anything from them that does not move me or make me reflect on the current stasis of the musical world. The latest release from their arsenal of incredibly talented musicians is none other than the worldly of Montreal.
The Georgia based septet released Paralytic Stalks on February 13, 2012. The nine tracks are deeply rooted in retro style accompanied by dark lyrics. Superficially Kevin Barnes’ Jeff Lynn meets Bob Geldof vocals stylistically ride the hooky and addictive instrumentals; enough so you can fly through these nine tracks and completely miss the point. Looking past the surface, there is much more to be seen. As an Elephant 6 band, you should expect nothing less from them.
From their prior albums to Paralytic Stalks there has been a leap in their musical talents. It is evident that the band approached this album with a new mentality; one of increasing experimentation and challenge of compatibility. The deep seeded contemplative mentality Barnes brought to the album adds a unique depth to each track. Take for instance “Spiteful Intervention” and its lyrical opening “its f***king sad that we need a tragedy/ to occur to gain a fresh prospective in our lives/nothing happens for a reason.” The richly layered track is only propelled further by the straightforward, provocative thinking. Piano breakdowns, digitalized fades and the other random assortment of instrumentals delivered by of Montreal would seem completely random and borderline chaotic. Yet they have the uncommon ability to reel everything in and keep their beautiful chaos focused. Paralytic Stalks is digital indie rock at its best. It brings enough instrumentally to suffice as background cruising music while at the same time bringing a plethora of insightful lyrics to get the wheels turning for those who want more.
Of Montrealhas pulled no punches, high energy music and reflective lyrics dish out an entertaining 58 minutes. Combining the Polyvinyl mentality with an Elephant 6 band should be enough to snag our attention, which it is, but seeing the growth brought about by Paralytic Stalks is icing on the cake.