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Animal Collective - Centipede HZ

Animal Collective - Centipede HZ


Ah, the indiesphere, early 2009. Crazy time, crazy place. To a few thousand internet people, the release of Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion seemed like a happening of such monolithic import that the inauguration of Barack Obama, continued implosion of the world’s economy, etcetera, etcetera felt like trivial, even presumptuous distractions in comparison.

Almost four years and one tangential ‘visual album’ later, Animal Collective’s ninth LP proper has conspicuously failed to reduce the internet to a quivering nerdgasm. Partly that's because Centipede Hz comes out in release-packed September, not desolate January; partly it's because bands just don’t sustain that sort of hype over two records; partly it's because the cover art is, frankly, less rad than MPP’s.

But mostly, I’ve got to confess, it’s because Centipede Hz is less good than Merriweather Post Pavilion, and I suppose in this review I should be taking Animal Collective to task over it. Curse you Animal Collective, for Centipede Hz’s knotty, over-tangled electronic sounds, wherein a general over-abundance of pounding, luminous noises – possibly ushered in by the need to accommodate the returning Deakin, who has been off allegedly defrauding people on Kickstarter on sabbatical – tends to obfuscate the actual songcraft. Damn your eyes, Animal Collective, for constructing a record whose busily chattering electronics tend to baffle and entangle the joy in Avey Tare and Panda Bear’s voices, shielding us from the radiant rush that made MPP and Feels so transcendent. May your loins be infertile, Animal Collective, for creating an electronic record whose Technicolor doodlings are going to advance dance music about as much as my breakfast this morning did.

Drowned in Sound