Animal Collective destroys the spaced-out sounds that have defined it with harsher drumbeats on their new album Centipede HZ.
The psychedelic band’s ninth effort returns to its complex jam-band meets art-school roots.
It opens with the track Moonjock, which sets the tone for the album — changing tempos, surreal lyrics and vocals ranging from mumbling to screaming. Today’s Supernatural continues the aggression, with an infectious chorus that perfects the album’s lead single.
Then comes the triumph of the album: Applesauce. It is a lo-fi neo-pop song that can be compared to the more playful tracks from The Beatles’ White Album.
After that, the album starts losing steam. The remaining tracks are enjoyable, but have too many elements to retain clarity. The drums are unyielding below chaotic vocals and instrumentation.
The songs start blending together and the album never changes its style, making the second half boring and forgettable.
The final track Amanita at least closes the experience with strength; an ominous beat breathes fresh air into the stale sound of the previous songs.
Don’t let its inconsistencies put you off. It is a solid effort that will leave your inner Dead Head happy if you fully digest it.