ALBUM REVIEW: Of Montreal – Aureate Gloom | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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three half


Polyvinyl Records

Released: 02.03.15

More info on of Montreal’s official website


March welcomes another album from Georgia State’s finest purveyors of streaming introspections and musical erections. With Aureate Gloom, of Montreal treat us to a wall-to-wall sprawl of ideas, visiting a seemingly impossible amount of influences across ten tracks. Their familiar style of funk kicks off the record; firstly, with the single, Bassam Sabry, a rebellious groove lyrically set within the environment of the Egyptian Revolution, and following that up with Last Rites At The Jane Hotel, a song reflecting upon Barnes’ recent stay in Greenwich Village. Empyrium Crown is driven by a smooth pumping bassline, leaving our singer’s trademark self-harmonising vocals exposed in the foreground; as ever dreamy, melancholic and sensual. The pace of the record is intermittently broken with the slow-motion solid air of Aluminium Crown, before the energy returns.

In general, the softer folk and blues influences of Lousy With Sylvianbriar are left behind to give room for more rock ’n’ roll revelling, such as the likes of Monolithic Egress, bold with its four-to-the-floor drumming, and Chtonian Dirge For Uruk The Other raging against its leash, ripping with distortion and discords. Barnes’ song titles once more relish in the lesser used areas of the English lexis and his lyrical phraseology is as ever scenic around its central points. Though seemingly sincere in trying to capture the chaos in his mind and relaying it, Barnes’ use of volatile juxtaposition in his lyrics (along with similar musical variation) walks that wonderful line of communication: at any one point, should this be taken earnestly or with a pinch? Continued audacity and perfectionism keep their catalogue free from any potholes. Though False Priest flourished for its perverse sonic meanderings, both Lousy With Sylvianbriar and this latest release are exciting for the songwriting.

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