Of Montreal, the non-Canadian, pro-vaudevillian, Ziggy Stardust-esque troupe from Athens, Ga., seemed to have come out of nowhere, even though they released their first album, Cherry Peel, in 1997.
It wasn’t until 2005, when the album Sunlandic Twins was released, that Of Montreal began to cause a stir. Previously, their vibrant, synth-driven, flamboyant energy was seemingly feeding off of the glittery residue that was left in the industry by bands long since irrelevant to the average music consumers: Queen, David Bowie and Prince. Needless to say, they weren’t commercially viable before that time.
Their sound — gleeful, spastic and psychological stunning — is as complex as anything Henrik Ibsen ever wrote, fraught with tension and relief, color and charm. Their albums are the equivalent of watching the best Rock Opera ever and then dying immediately afterward.
Of Montreal plays the Madison Theater Thursday with Fire Zuave and Sugar and Gold. Read an interview with guitarist Bryan Poole here.