AnCo comes back strong with first album in 4 years
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 00:09
A brief disclaimer: If the only Animal Collective album you have listened to is “Merriweather Post Pavilion,” it is entirely possible that you won’t be into “Centipede Hz.” I mean, straight up, you probably won’t like it. This music is not the easy melodic sound of that album. It is very much a foray into the sort of experimental, psychedelic sounds that this band is well known for.
That being said, if you religiously listen to these guys, or even if you’ve only dabbled with albums such as “Sung Tongs” or “Feels,” I think you will appreciate what you hear in “Centipede Hz.” It is, at times, vintage Animal Collective, this means crazy electric sounds that are fairly melodic mixed with rolling beats, and solid vocals. It’s worth noting that this is the longest gap the band has spent between albums; it has been almost four years since A.C. last released a major album.
The creative beats, synthesizer up the yin yang, and the loud and occasionally abrasive vocals are at the center of it all. The album starts off kind of shaky with “Moonjock,” and then “Today’s Supernatural” wasn’t really my thing, but once you get to the meat of the album it is a solid experience. There aren’t any tracks, after the first couple, that are particularly faulty. Every song is packed with sounds and it truly is a step away from the soft melodies of M.P.P. These sounds are wild, roaming ones; very reminiscent of the album “Feels,” songs like “The Purple Bottle” and what have you. My favorite tracks were probably “Wide Eyed,” “New Town Burnout,” and “Pulleys.”
Avey Tare is the vocalist for a majority of the album, which means a lot of unruly vocals, or what some may call yelling. It’s not unwelcome; in fact it really doesn’t take away from the album too much. Panda Bear (also known as Noah Lennox) surprisingly does not provide many vocals at all, instead contributing from the drums.
This album has caught a lot of criticism from assorted reviewers. I can’t say that I’m surprised; certainly many would think that Animal Collective would shoot for a more mainstream sound after “Merriweather Post Pavilion” broke the Top 20 in 2009. Personally, I am glad they didn’t sell out. Their music is as unique as any band out there, and even though this album certainly not going to be as popular as M.P.P., I can still confidently say that I enjoyed it for what it was: a band getting back to its roots.