THIS Georgia-based ensemble, led by the flamboyant Kevin Barnes – that’s him jumping about in the embroidered poncho – once released a concept album called Coquelicot Asleep In The Poppies: A Variety Of Whimsical Verse and another as a paper lantern.
But their eccentricities, at least on this outing, were deftly channelled through some infectious hooklines and a will to entertain.
Since forming in the mid-90s, Of Montreal have consistently raided pop’s dressing up box, trying on numerous styles for size, from fizzy pop to psychedelic drone, and each a snug fit, lightly and confidently worn. Their overall party mixtape approach to performance is not unlike a southern Scissor Sisters. Agreeably cheesy synth lines were married to funk basslines and choppy chiming guitar, while a couple of headlong euphoric pop dashes were reminiscent of Sparks with their falsetto delivery and fitting degree of campery.
Meanwhile, there was a ready supply of accompanying animated visuals, seemingly the work of an acid casualty in a sweet shop, featuring what looked like Mexican wrestling masks and Day of the Dead decorated skulls.
But just as it seemed that all was fun, froth and barely suppressed mania, they sobered up for Obsidian Currents, a leisurely dream pop number from their most recent album, Lousy With Sylvianbriar, before moving up the gears in the focused, driving closing moments to deliver a climactic pay-off.
Rating: * * * *