Animal Collective : Centipede Hz
Centipede Hz is a big, ugly mess. That’s not a bad thing, the motif of radio broadcast gone horribly twisted works for the most part – like an album forged by ‘80s oddity Max Headroom. In this sense it’s probably as close to a concept record as Animal Collective, venturing into an experimental territory showcased on the band’s pre-Strawberry Jam output. Not that Centipede Hz is all that similar to Sung Tongs and Feels.
Despite the album’s aural thread, there’s little in the way of cohesion throughout each of the album’s 11 tracks – the Panda Bear-led compositions clash heavily with, rather than complement, the Avey Tare-captained tracks for instance.
The prevalence of guitar on the opening tracks could be attributed to Deakin’s return to the fold after his absence on Merriweather Post Pavillion – the power chords on Today’s Supernatural conjure visions of Townsend-style windmills. Deakin also makes his lead-vocal debut with Wide Eyed, the album’s highest point.
The album’s biggest crime is simply not that interesting. There are solid tracks – Father Time, Monkey Riches, Pulleys – but nothing hits the heights of Fireworks, For Reverend Green, My Girls or Brother Sport. Lead single Today’s Supernatural lasts twice as long as it needs to be, never growing past the first stuttered “Let go.”
Not terrible by any means, Centipede Hz does little to hold up within the pristine Animal Collective canon, and not enough to rise above the cavalcade of top-shelf mid-2012 releases.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
Best Track: Wide Eyed
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Head THE MONKEES, Tomboy PANDA BEAR
In A Word: Buggin’