Animal Collective | Centipe de Hz

Domino (2012)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 28, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars


Animal Collective deserve credit for not doing what most artists in their position would do right about now — namely, get reactionary. Ten-years-plus into their career and following up their universally praised Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009), the ambassadors of obfuscation have stayed pat with the wide-eyed brand of pop-madness that got them here in the first place. In short, Centipede Hz is more music with which to ingest drugs. You're not going to relax to this, nor be a big hit at a dance party, nor sing it to your sweetheart, unless you are a little bit whacked out. At some point, these 11 tracks might have actually been recognizable pop songs (listen for the occasional guitar line or juicy hook), but they seem to have been meticulously hollowed out by Animal Collective and producer Ben Allen only to be refilled with some wholly other goo. Inscrutable song titles, sickly vocals, sneaky segues, raging fleets of zzzound effectzz, power-driven steely synths, and teetering towers of exotic electro/acoustic percussion all add-up to one intense mofo of an album. It's perhaps overly long (53 minutes) and hard to penetrate, but Animal Collective's creativity glows brighter than Ric Flair's hair. With all the love for ambient/glitch/acid and world-rhythm going on here, these songs bat major eyelashes at classic psych. "Moonjock" kicks in like the opening cut from some lost 1967 gem by a square artist trying their hardest to turn on. When Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) shouts about "covered wagon times" amidst the teardrop-flavored cacophony (in 7/8 time), we have to ask — are we cowboys or cosmonauts? Moments later, in "Today's Supernatural," he coins "bionic hee-haw" amidst a display of Latin busy-ness right out of your mom's Tito Puente album. It makes us wonder, which way are we going — into the past or the future? And, more important, where are we now?

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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, Animal Collective,  More more >
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