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Indie-rock chameleon is all over the place, but never boring

Of Montreal

BENICASIM, SPAIN - JULY 18: Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal performs on Day 2 of Benicassim Music Festival on July 18, 2014 in Benicasim, Spain. (Photo by Gaelle Beri/Redferns via Getty Images)

Kevin Barnes


Kevin Barnes' formal restlessness is his charm and flaw. It has made Of Montreal an ever-morphing, rarely boring indie-rock standby — but it can also find him riffling through random scraps like Macklemore in a Goodwill superstore. So goes Barnes' latest: Impressive disco-funk-glam couplings (the politically incensed "Bassem Sabry") rush the dance floor alongside Anglophile post-punk and classic-rock fractals (the Kinks-conjuring "Apollyon of Blue Room"). Sometimes his hydrant flow of ideas reveals a lack of good ones (see the proggy slog "Monolithic Egress"). But when Barnes figures out how to focus his brain dumps, dude gets more with less.

In This Article: Of Montreal


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