Named for a relationship band leader Kevin Barnes had with a Canadian ladyfriend, the Athens, Georgia-based Of Montreal still clings hard and fast to the dizzying, glee-ridden psych-pop aesthetics of the rock super-collective that spawned Apples in Stereo (and their bubble-gum-chompin' cousins, Dressy Bessy), Elf Power, Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel and the oh-so-ooey-gooey Marshmallow Coast.
Though it clearly spawned some of indie-pop's finest moments to date (witness Elf Power's Winter Is Coming and Apples in Stereo's Tone Soul Evolution), the weakness of Elephant 6, much like any cult of retro-personality, was that eventually the multi-band reverence came off sounding a little like lack of inspiration.
To its credit, Of Montreal has always been the most inventive and adventurous of the collective, drawing on a wider range of influences and liberal doses of the bandmates' own inspiration. The group hit its peak with 1999's The Gay Parade, a densely layered, deceptively childlike heartbreaker of an album that doled out euphoria and melancholy in equal measure.
On the band's latest effort, The Sunlandic Twins, the ongoing homage to pop perfection makes an interesting veer from boilerplate indie takes on the Beatles, Big Star and Brian Wilson, venturing into the land of David Byrne circa his beautiful house and beautiful wife. It's a nice place for Of Montreal to be -- maintaining the big bounce and Cheshire cat grin while sporting a big suit and a newfound semi-punk sensibility.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8-$10; call 314-621-9019 for more information.
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