The bizarre “rock” group ‘Animal Collective’ have shown us that experimentation, weird bubble noises, and possible whale cries make for a great career trajectory. Now none albums deep, the band are set to release ‘Centipede Hz’ September 4th.
I got a quick fresh spin of the album, which is streaming in its entirety at their official website. It’s far more wicked and ludicrous than I would have thought.
The band have always experimented with long extended odyssey level jams very early in their career, and quaint though alarmingly odd songs like on ‘Sung Tongs’ and their popular album ‘Feels.’ So you are not in the wrong in expecting a bit abrasion, mixed with powerful almost overwhelmingly loud melodies. Appropriately enough, the band broke through the pseudo-mainstream in 2009 with ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion.’ It became their best selling album, and on another note, it was easily their most accessible album. With songs like ‘My Girl’s and ‘Brothersport,’ the band seemed to find a comfortable ease in dialing back the weird and dialing up the catchiness. Not to say this was a new Britney Spears album, but it was definitely more approachable.
‘Centipede Hz’ undeniably harkens back to their electric synth-something roots. The tracks aren’t all that long and meandering, and they remain very rhythmic (for Animal Collective at least) but everything seems more layered and complex- and perhaps even obnoxious. Every song manipulates the vocals, and relies on non-traditional sounds as the backbeat which drives the song. In short, it is an acquired taste far more so than their previous album. Use ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ as a launching pad, because ‘Centipede Hz’ will absolutely catch newcomers off guard.
The entire album is streaming at the below link, accompanied by a sensational acid trip type video of swimming babies, volcanoes, and what seems to be Popeye the Sailor fighting legions of sperm. ‘Centipede Hz’ sure is an album.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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