Friday, February 16, 2007

Album Review- Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

Of Montreal
Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?


“We just want to emote til we’re dead”

And so begins another break-up album. But wait, where are the strings? Where are the plaintive acoustic guitar strums? Why doesn’t the music sound, you know, sad? Not since Death From Above 1979’s You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine has a break-up album been so well disguised. While most poor saps show up to the party with a broken half of their heart on either sleeve, Of Montreal main man Kevin Barnes would rather come dressed in a bright colorful coat and shout obscenities through a smile. Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? makes use of exuberant synth-pop as release therapy. Each track makes a claim for the dance floor as a form of liberation. Basically, it makes parting ways sound like a party.

Ditching most of the classic psych-pop of their Elephant 6 days, Hissing builds even more toward the direction hinted at on their last two efforts. Clocking in at barely over a minute, “Sink The Seine” is the only remnant. It opens with a chorus of “La La La’s” sounding like a modern day Beatles song; from then on, it’s generally new territory.

While it’s a party on the musical end, the lyrical substance is nothing short of depressing. The album was created in the wake of Kevin’s separation from his wife, not your average two-year-relationship-gone-wrong. The centerpiece of the album, “The Past Is A Grotesque Animal” is an eleven-minute psychological rant full of non-sequitors. “I guess you just want to shave your head have drink and be left alone?” Kevin asks himself in third person on “Cato As A Pun”. “Is that too much to ask?” he replies. “Come on mood shift, shift back to good again” he begs on “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse” over a bed of rumbling synths before they erupt into a cheerful chorus. It’s as if he has nothing but the music to persuade him.

Hissing Fauna also manages to illustrate the side of break-ups most tend to hide. Such as immaturity, “There's the girl that left me bitter/Want to pay some other girl to just walk up to her and hit her,” dependency “Chemicals, don't mess me up this time/Know you bait me way more than you should,“ and naiveté, “We want our film to be beautiful, not realistic".

Despite the overall weight of the subject matter, Hissing isn’t necessarily a heavy listen. It’s easy to ignore the dismal undercurrent and take it at face value, especially if you’ve never experienced a bad break-up. Even if you have, you won’t find a better form of therapy.

Download >>Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse

Download >>A Sentance Of Sorts In Kongsvinge

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