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Monday, August 20

Vinnie the Intern #11: Animal Collective's Centipede Hz

Animal Collective's Centipede Hz hit the ears of enthralled fans who have been waiting to hear the true follow-up album to Merriweather Post Pavilion last night. Things have changed in Animal Collective since 2009. Deakin, their guitarist, has made his return and, as indicated by their Honeycomb/Gotham 7" that was released earlier in May, they have gone back to the more spastic style of earlier albums. The album was promoted by a string weekly radio shows, titled Centipede Radio, compiled by each of the band's members. At 9:08 PM, the opening countdown exploded from my speakers.
Animal Collective - Centipede Hz (Available September 4th)
"Moonjock" starts the album off with a heavily distorted buzz and cymbal crash. The watery, washed-out sounds that were present on Merriweather Post Pavilion have been traded for the bare-bones, rawness that was the Feels/Strawberry Jam era. Atmospherically spacey and seemingly influenced by radio sounds; these embedded throughout Centipede Hz's sonic pallet. One of the first notable changes was having the usual percussion manned by Panda Bear and the accents of Deakin's guitar-work. The first single, "Today's Supernatural"  released three weeks before the stream, sticks to this formula. Catchy and adventurous; it was a great choice for a perfect single.

Abby Portner, sister of Avey Tare, who also created the album art, created the video for the stream containing psychedelic animation and a boat load of effects that correlate to the album's lyrics. The video enhances and compliments the chaos very well. Check out the newest video for "Today's Supernatural" up above.

First reveal of album artwork for Centipede Hz

"Rosie Oh" features a bouncy guitar track with a multitude of blippy sounds found in just about every nook and cranny of this album.

Another return to form, "Applesauce," gives Avey the opportunity to spout off his rapid fire lyrics. Avey Tare controlled much of the vocals this time around. Considering the listener's preference, that may or may not work to the album's strength. I do believe the album's sandpapery-sound fit Avey's sporadic delivery more-so that Panda Bear's usually serene vocals.

"Wide Eyed" is unlike any other Animal Collective song to date. Deakin takes an active role vocally. While it's similar structure-wise, his voice brings forth another dynamic. His voice is in no way comparable to Avey Tare's or Panda Bear's. It is a great centerpiece that nicely juxtaposes the rest of the album.

"New Town Burnout" gives an eclectic mix of instruments such as what I believe to be a violin and warbling electronics before flowing into, in my opinion, the album's magnumopus.

"Monkey Riches" is that song: A song that can stop you in your tracks and beg to be replayed X amount of times. That song. Up there with their finest such as "The Purple Bottle," "Fireworks," and "My Girls," this song emulates a warm, sincere burst of raw emotion most accentuated by its hyper arrangement of a busy rhythm, gorgeous low end, and glitchy blips swelling in and out of the mix. My favorite song on the album. Which is saying something! This song will be up there with my top picks of 2012 for sure.

Centipede Hz can be listened to in its entirety, as well as their four radio transmissions here!

Q: So how does it stand with the the band's other eight full lengths? 
It is a nice middle ground between Feels and Strawberry Jam, but surely there are some Merriweather Post Pavilion influences left intact.

Q: Can a Merriweather purist love this album? 
I believe so. I think while it is a little more abrasive than the immaculate Merriweather (and probably will receive some flack for that factit offers just as much.

Q: Can a Spirit, Danse Manatee, Campfire Songs, Here Comes the Indian, or Sung Tongs purist love this album?
That question is a little harder. There is really no comparison to their earliest of albums. The folk aspect has been gone for some while. With these past two albums, the band has buried any possible return to form with their focusing highly on programming and samples.

With these questions I say, no matter what era Animal Collective fan you are, give Centipede Hz a listen!

What to look forward to: Next blog I will give a brief overview of the new JJ DOOM album and prepare a guide to all the works of Daniel Dumile, otherwise known as MF DOOM.

1 comment:

Be nice!