- Today0 comment(s)17 Ross Street created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)vwx416 created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)Sumatraweg 162 created the concert, Chloe Luggage You May Perhaps Think In Need To Be Probable
- Today0 comment(s)Sumatraweg 162 created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)fgh514 created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)1378 Southern Avenue created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)cde040 created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)71 place Stanislas created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)Heutinkstraat 160 created his/her biography
- Today0 comment(s)289 Rocket Drive created his/her biography
1 of 9
2 of 9
3 of 9
4 of 9
5 of 9
6 of 9
7 of 9
8 of 9
9 of 9
By now you've likely heard some, if not all of Animal Collective's wild new Centipede Hz. If not, prepare to be immersed in a crazy- quilt trip across the radio dial. Not for nothing did the guys choose to ramp up interest in their long-awaited follow-up to Merriweather Post Pavilion with series of web radio broadcasts on successive Sunday nights. (In the golden age of radio, Sunday was THE night.) As the guys explain in interviews with The Creators Project, released this week, they've long had a fascination in radio, in the sound of the medium, in foreign radio, in static, in the idea of cultures and sounds colliding on the airwaves. As Noah Lennox explained, they took those interests a step further: "We imagined what an alien band might sound like, especially if they were catching radio frequencies."
So there's no shortage of glitchy, static-y radio tunings going on here, but they're mostly in between celebratory, sometimes cluttered tracks like the joyous, terrific "Applesauce", the bird whistle-sprinkled "Moonjock" and the frantic single "Today's Supernatural". While "Wide Eyed" revisits some of the shimmer that ran through Merriweather, there is little of the overt melodies, clear vocals or simple-pleasures sentimentality found on that record's "Bluish" and "My Girls" and "Guys Eyes". Animal Collective don't do redux, or they try not to anyway. As far back as the spring of 2009, AC told Noisevox that it was likely they would go in an utterly different direction next time around.
And so they did. Ben Allen, co-creator of that last album, is back on board, and the prodigal Deakin, Josh Dibb, has returned. But this time it's mostly a trip to fantasy land. "New Town Burnout" has a clanging, squeaking charm, "Mercury Man" does its name justice, a little speedster that name checks the tiny planet (or the liquid metal), and the more exotic closer "Amanita" has Avey warbling and yelping over gurgles and beats.
As promising as their beginnings more than a decade ago with Spirit They've Gone... and Danse Manatee, who could have predicted that a dozen years later an Animal Collective release would be a certifiable "event"? But such is the case, and once again the press approves--with some qualifications. Here's a sampling:
Drowned in Sound: It’s jolly and kinetic and greater than the sum of its songs and comes laden down with happy memories of being fuzzily wasted and enjoying many of these tracks for the first time at Primavera last year. It’s not a major album, but are Animal Collective obliged to make major albums? I might draw parallels with Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, another low key, late career electronic record that got lambasted for not being earthshatteringly brilliant.
NME: Not a note of ‘Centipede Hz’ panders to the ‘My Girls’ crowd. It’s all relative, of course: next to 2010’s audio/visual confusathon ‘ODDSAC’ or this year’s ‘Transverse Temporal Gyrus’ EP, this album is immediate like a Barney The Dinosaur song. But as the ‘proper’ follow-up to their big commercial breakthrough, it’s tantamount to determinedly shooing all their newfound alt-bros away with a broom.
Pitchfork: Theirs is the rarest, most enviable form of success: one born not of conforming to audiences' expectations but of constantly confounding them. Avey's refutation of his golden age suggests that, for Animal Collective, happiness is a function of never feeling fully satisfied with what you've accomplished, and continually challenging yourself.
Clattering and chaotic and a lot of fun, it doesn't aspire to be Feels or Strawberry Jam, let alone recreate Merriweather -- it is what it is. And getting back to that medium that inspired the album, what would be better to listen to on that radio right now than Centipede Hz, from Animal Collective?