of Montreal are a band that exist in the wrong generation. ‘Lousy With Sylvianbriar’, the band’s twelfth album, sounds like it has been freshly squeezed from a wormhole leading right to the 1960s. A shot of nostalgia is always appreciated, but the challenge for any band is to channel their influences into creating something with a hint of originality.
For the most part ‘Lousy With Sylvianbriar’ is a relaxing album, something to listen to while sprawled out in bed on a lazy evening. The slight country twang, manifesting itself in the form of a slide guitar, creates the easy-going mood that permeates its way throughout the album. Obsidian Currents moves along like a gentle summer breeze, with steady, slow drumming and the slide guitar generating a chilled atmosphere. Triumph Of Disintegration has a bit more bite, with the bold line “the last ten days have been a motherfucker” grabbing the listener’s attention. The song quickly reverts to a less frantic pace with the wandering basslines and short guitar chords. The chorus features a strong guitar riff that is quite catchy, and is a tune that is rather pleasing to the ear.
However, for all the charm and easy nature that can be found throughout ‘Lousy With Sylvianbriar,’ there is little to draw the listener back for multiple repeats of the record. None of the songs will stay stuck in your head all day and you won’t find yourself whistling any riffs from this album. ‘Lousy…’ is very much the sum of its parts – half 60’s psychedelica, half American country music – with the band merely serving as a means to connect the two genres. It is a pleasant and relaxing listen, but without much unique input from the band themselves ‘Lousy…’ is not something that will be remembered fondly in years, or even months to come.