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Of Montreal:: Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? (Album Review)

Now that the Apples in Stereo are reunited and have a new album coming out next month, Of Montreal can no longer lay claim to the distinction of being the only Elephant 6 band of note to outlive the once-sprawling psych-pop collective’s sad demise. But thanks to mastermind Kevin Barnes’s evident insatiable hunger for new sounds, the Athens -based outfit can call itself the most unpredictable E6 band ever: Of Montreal records have included bits of everything from cardigan-core pop to T. Rex–style glam to endless-groove Afrobeat, and not at all in a way that makes Barnes seem like a cool-hunting hipster desperate for blog love. Hissing Fauna, the follow-up to 2005’s trippy The Sunlandic Twins, is for the most part an exercise in Prince-like electro-funk, full of squelchy keyboard fuzz and chicken-scratch guitar noise and absurdly complicated falsetto harmonies. You wouldn’t think this proudly eccentric manchild would muster much as a new recruit in the Department of SexyBack. But you’d be wrong. (MIKAEL WOOD)