Of Montreal The Sunlandic Twins

While Of Montreal have done a respectable job of releasing dependable models of witty, adventurous and colourful psych-pop, their first five albums found them walking the same line all too often. Thankfully, last year’s Satanic Panic in the Attic put a welcome stop to the slump incorporating all sorts of wildly different influences to live up to the potential they reeked of when they were uncovered by the Elephant 6. It’s nice to see ringleader Kevin Barnes has upheld his ambition as The Sunlandic Twins betters its predecessor and reveals the potential this ingenious band have been hinting at for the last decade. Describing Sunlandic as a "21st century electro cinematic avant-disco pop opera,” Barnes’ relentless experimenting with studio trickery, assorted instrumentation and rowdy melodies has paid off as this record is certainly both of epic and party-going proportions. The cute "The Party’s Crashing Us” is a rollicking good time with a steady backbeat and infectiously jolly hooks; "So Begins Our Alabee” is delightfully schizophrenic ’80s synth pop that sounds like a Human League thirty-three played at forty-five speed; and "I Was Never Young” goes from tribal funk into a psyched-up Talking Heads homage. Though the album’s pulse is a little hectic, shifting tempos all over the place, Of Montreal have created a stunning work that is as enjoyable as it is audacious. A nice four-song EP is also included to make this a truly undeniable winner. (Polyvinyl)