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Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polyvinyl
  • ASIN: B000KWZ94U
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,168 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Suffer For Fashion
2. Sink The Seine
3. Cato As A Pun
4. Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse
5. Gronlandic Edit
6. Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger, A
7. Past Is A Grotesque Animal, The
8. Bunny Ain't No Kind Of Rider
9. Faberge Falls For Shuggie
10. Labyrinthian Pomp
11. She's A Rejecter
12. We Were Born The Mutants Again With Leafling

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2007
Format: Audio CD
Of Montreal has been diddling around with the poppy dance sound for a few albums now, as opposed to the bright tweepop of their early work.

And they're in excellent form with the sprightly pop tunes of "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?", where they try out all sorts of driving, lush pop music, full of bizarre flourishes and mad instrumentation. It's like being locked in a musical rainforest, if that makes any sense.

It opens with a baby babbling and a guitar being plucked. Then the fuzz starts. Finally the energetic dancey riff kicks in, with Kevin Barnes singing merrily, "We just suffer for fashion, oh whatever!/We don't want these days to ever end/we just want to EM-AS-CULE-ATE them, foreevvveerrrr..." I don't know what it means, but it sounds funny.

After a foghorn-poppish interlude, the band segues smoothly into the less dancey "Cato as a Pun," with its gongs and odd undulating riffs, and the hilarious "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse," with a playful keyboard melody and cries of "Come on, chemicals!"

The band tries out all sorts of weird electropop through this album: twee stuffwith handclaps and falsetto voices, trippy pop, sharp-edged psychpunk, rollicking electronic dance mixed with weird samples and screams, and a driving twelve-minute song climaxing with great blobs of wavery synth.

"Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?" is not Of Montreal's best -- artistically, it's a bit scattered, and some of the songs take several listens before you start liking them. But it's definitely a good album, full of colour, life and heartbreak, and lots of inspired indiepop that will have you bouncing in your seat.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't know who in their right mind would consider this 'good music'. At first listen, all I kept thinking about was hunting down the singer so I could kick him in the face.... Ok, that's a bit harsh... But, honestly, this album is verging on downright garbage. The most satisfaction I received from it came at the very moment I clicked 'OK' and deleted it from my computer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 50 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It grows and grows and grows Feb. 12 2007
By DV - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first time I heard this album, I was actually a little disappointed, expecting something less... well, glammy. But after each listen, it grew more on me, and now I think it's one of my favorite albums ever. I think it ranks up there with other "classic" albums, and I think this will be one of the best if not THE best of 2007. I don't know what it is about it, but I've listened to it about 20 times in the last 2 weeks. It's extremely infectious - well-written, arranged, produced, and performed - extremely catchy but deep enough to enjoy many times over. It's an all-around great album.
43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Of Montreal album? Read on! Jan. 23 2007
By Cale E. Reneau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In January of 2006, I had the privilege of being able to see Of Montreal, my absolute favorite band, live. But something was wrong. The band was great, the music was fantastic, but something was terribly, inexplicably wrong. While the band was playing one of their songs from 2005's "The Sunlandic Twins," two teenage girls who looked like they were more suited for a Britney Spears concert jumped on stage and started "skank-dancing" and kept it up for the duration of the song. I thought to myself, "apparently you can dance like that to anything now." But then I realized that perhaps Of Montreal, a band who has long relied on Kevin Barnes' ability to craft intricate, delusional stories and turn them in to equally difficult songs, had become way too accessible for its own good. Don't get me wrong, "The Sunlandic Twins" was a fantastic album, and a huge achievement for Of Montreal, but maybe they took it a bit too far. I can see a promiscuous 16-year-old dancing to "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games," but not to "Niki Coco and the Invisible Tree." Something was wrong. The Of Montreal I've loved for years was finally tainted by the irrepressible image of two underage girls dancing like a couple of strippers. To redeem themselves, Of Montreal had to do something drastic. They had to make an album that combined the best of their new sound, with the best of their old sound. Fortunately, "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" does just that! Once again, Of Montreal is back on top!

The lead-off track on the album is "Suffer for Fashion," a song I had the opportunity of hearing live the last time the band came through my town. The song gets the energy going, and it never really dies down after that. It sounds like it could've been ripped right off of "The Sunlandic Twins," yet it's more frantic and crazy than anything that album ever presented. This song runs head-on with the next, "Sink the Seine," the shortest song on the album, and one I wish could have been much longer. The song begins with Barnes singing "La, la, la" in a way that is reminiscent of the band's more carefree albums like "The Gay Parade." Though it's only a minute long, it's one of my favorite tracks on the album, if only for the nostalgia factor alone.

This carefree song is followed up by one of the most depressing songs Of Montreal has ever made. In "Cato as a Pun" Barnes laments, "I can't even pretend that you are my friend" and "Are you far too depressed now even to answer the phone?" On that note, "Hissing Fauna" is by far the most personally introspective album that Kevin Barnes has ever made. There's hardly a song on the album that isn't about the artist. This is a big step for a band that has become famous for their whimsical songs about necrophilia ("Chrissy Kiss the Corpse"), fun-loving nuns, and the aforementioned invisible tree. But Barnes and Co. manage to pull this leap off quite flawlessly. Despite the album's insistence on serious subject matter, the music itself is often light-hearted and fun! If any band could pull this off, it's Of Montreal.

The next two songs on the album take this theme and run with it. "Heimsdalgate Like a Promethean Curse" is a song that is about the unfortunate repercussions of drug abuse and "Gronlandic Edit" is about being depressed. Barnes ponders, "I guess it would be nice to give my heart to a god. But which one do I choose?" The song features a great bassline and is a song that will get your toes tapping in no time. Getting down to a song about depression? You gotta love this band! "A Sentence of Sort In Kongsvinger" is largely about the same subject matter, but is one of the most accessible Of Montreal songs ever!

In many ways, the album is divided into two parts around the next song, "The Past is a Grotesque Animal," a 12-minute long song that sounds like it was ripped right out of Kevin Barnes' diary (assuming he has one). The album before this song is very introspective, but at the same time very accessible to pubescent girls. After this song, however, the album takes a much more bizarre turn. After the song comes to a close, listeners are greeted by some of the most peculiar music to ever be heard on an Of Montreal album. In many ways, it seems as if Kevin Barnes leaves the "grotesque animal" behind with this song, and starts anew with less-serious subject matter and a fresh new sound.

The first song listeners are greeted with after the draining 12-minute song is "Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider" a song in which Barnes says, "Eva, I'm sorry, but you will never have me...I need a lover with soul power, and you ain't got no soul power!" It's an entirely different feel than what we've been treated to up until this point. But it's very refreshing. The next track is my absolute favorite song on the album. "Faberge Falls for Shuggie" is the strangest Of Montreal I've heard. To be quite honest, I have no idea what Kevin is talking about in this song, though I can only assume it's about ecstasy. Suffice to say, the song is crazy. It features a thumping bass line, ridiculous vocals, and so many small strokes of genius that you can't help but smile.

"Labyrinthian Pomp" has Barnes asking, "How you wanna take my style when I am so superior?" over a ridiculously funky guitar riff, while "She's A Rejector" finds the artist saying "There's the girl that left me bitter, won't you pay some other girl to just walk up to her and hit her?" Both songs are terrific and walk the line between accessibility and inaccessibility. Although, whether the average person on the street would find something to like in a song where the singer thinks about hitting a girl (even though he says "He can't") is really anyone's guess. From there, the album wraps up nicely with "We Were Born the Mutants Again with Leafling." A song that really wraps a chaotic album up in the most peaceful way possible. It's beautiful.

Overall, "Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer?" can be a lot to handle at times. It's one of the most confusing albums that Of Montreal has ever put out. That's saying a lot considering that they also released "Coquelicot Asleep In the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse." At the same time, however, listening to the album in its entirety is one of the most rewarding experiences that an Of Montreal fan could ever ask for. Sure, some of its more difficult moments like "The Past is a Grotesque Animal" may throw off some of the many many fickle fans that they gained since "The Sunlandic Twins." But for those of us who are willing to stick it out and squeeze every last ounce of magic from this album, the experience is indescribable, and entirely gratifying. I'll go ahead and say it. "Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer?" is the best, most complete, most satisfying album that Of Montreal has ever made. Thanks.

Recommended for real Of Montreal fans, and for those two girls who were dancing on stage. Hopefully it will deter them from coming to the next Of Montreal show. Hopefully.

Key Tracks:

1. "Sink the Seine"

2. "Heimsdalgate Like a Promethean Curse"

3. "Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider"

4. "Faberge Falls for Shuggie"

5. "We Were Born the Mutants Again With Leafling"

9 out of 10 Stars
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We just want to emote til we're dead" Feb. 16 2007
By Devon C. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
And so starts 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 genreally 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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mood Shift, Shift Back to Good Again... Feb. 4 2007
By GBV - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
...which is just what my mood did after listening to "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer". I am nothing but immensely pleased with my purchase of this cd and would trade any of my cd's over it instantaniously.

Over the past few years Of Montreal has changed their style of music dramatically. Upon my first listen to "Cherry Peel" I would never expect to be hearing this years down the road. Although different, there is nothing negative to be said about the album.

The first half of the album is very poppy and up-beat and time flies while listening to it. After six songs that catch your attention completely, a darker 12 minute long half way mark is churned out. Although you can see change coming, thou shant be scared. The song is just as dancable/interesting/brilliant. It screams these adjectives while Kevin advises: "lets tear this s**t apart, lets tear the f***ing house apart, lets tear our f***ing bodies apart". The adrenaline pumps.

After 12 minutes that has felt like MAYBE four, it bursts into "Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider", one of the catchiest tunes on the album. Afterwards, the album takes a short trip through a few "disco-like" songs that are undeniably pleasing. It merges into the final song, which leaves you wanting more when it ends. I advise you to press the "Play" button on the cd player when this moment comes.

So, basically, this album has blown me away and I am listening to it as I am writing this review. I'm pretty sure this is the fifth or sixth time i've listened to this cd in the past two days. I hope you find Kevin Barnes/the rest of Of Montreal as amazing as I do, and I advise you to buy it right now.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpeice for the Followers Jan. 24 2007
By Christopher A. Wheeler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Of Montreal has shown incredible growth with each album or EP they've released to the public, and Hissing Fauna continues with that tradition. This album is an incredible piece of musical art that flows from track to track with perfect ease. Maybe Hissing Fauna isn't flawless yet, but as of now, I own all of their published work, and Hissing Fauna has made the biggest impact on my iTunes.