CD review: Animal Collective’s ‘Centipede Hz’
Wed, Sep 5, 2012 (5:48 p.m.)
- Animal Collective
- Centipede Hz
If 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion nudged weird-pop foursome Animal Collective into mainstream consciousness, new album Centipede Hz will surely thin the herd. Gone, mostly, are the happy hooks and Beach Boys harmonies, replaced by dense layers and swerving structures. And where Merriweather felt like Panda Bear’s party, in the lush vein of his preceding solo album, Person Pitch, on Centipede the more chaotically inclined Avey Tare stars as lead animal. He seizes the reins on conjoined opening cuts “Moonjock” and “Today’s Supernatural” and rarely loosens his grip, providing lead vocals for eight of the disc’s 11 tracks. That’s him coupling “erratic seesaw” and “bionic hee-haw,” declaring “I don’t have a pose for applesauce on clothes” and repeating “It makes a monkey rich!”—all atop eruptions of pulsating electronics. From here, it feels fresh and fun coming off the more meticulous Merriweather. Whether you’ll find the Collective’s latest sonic shift refreshing or unpleasant will largely depend on your tolerance for strangeness.