wed 23/08/2017

CD: Animal Collective - Centipede Hz | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Animal Collective - Centipede Hz

CD: Animal Collective - Centipede Hz

Crazy quilt psychedelia virtually guaranteed to induce a headache

Animal Collective's 'Centipede Hz': a concept album without a narrative

Nine albums and almost 10 years in, Animal Collective show no signs of smoothing the edges from their herky-jerk, ADHD psyche-pop. Vocals carry a melody, but everything else in the mix counters that – pinging sounds, Afro-inspired percussion, bloops, stabs of synth. Beyond Animal Collective, only a bear with a sore head could make psychedelia this twitchy.

Obviously, Animal Collective are doing something right and I’ve tried and tried to get my head around their output. Seeing them live was confusing. I just wished they would stick to the song they had started and take it to its conclusion, rather than dart off all over the place. And the darting is never seamless. Songs hit a brick wall, catch their breath, then hare off elsewhere. Olivia Tremor Control perfected this style and, on Congratulations, MGMT turned it inside out and smoothed it into pop. But as for the brand leaders, it’s beyond me.

Centipede Hz is the follow-up to 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. It finds the quartet reunited: Joshua Dibb has returned to the band after five years. A concept album without a narrative, the exceedingly dense Centipede Hz is peppered with snatches of radio interference and air checks – a tribute to memories of spinning the dial through frequencies. In amongst that is “New Town Burnout”, which hints at a point between Violator Depeche Mode and Tears For Fears. The opening cut, “Moonjock”, implies that the DJ is not on earth, but out there on the Moon. Then again, the cod-country vocals on “Monkey Riches” suggest somewhere closer to home. It hardly ever coheres though. Animal Collective might be reunited as a four-piece band, but after the relative calm of Merriweather Post Pavilion their music is as fragmented as it's ever been.

Watch the trailer for Animal Collective’s Centipede Hz

Beyond Animal Collective, only a bear with a sore head could make psychedelia this twitchy

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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