ANIMAL COLLECTIVE //

Centipide HZ (Domino)

13/20

Childhood imagination and long-lost radio transmissions serve as the inspiration behind Animal Collective’s colourful and clattering new record Centipede Hz, which boasts a soundscape that recalls everything from Doctor Who to plunging your head into a bubble bath. Processed guitar and snare drum clanks mark explosive opener Moonjock, before stuttering shouts in Today’s Supernatural and a vocal decrescendo in Applesauce serve as some of the album’s finest hooks. But after a stunning start, the record often drifts towards drawn-out and anti-climactic concepts. This can be summed up in Monkey Riches, a wonderful harmony of synthesizer sampling and compelling vocals that never quite peaks after almost seven minutes of building in a revolving, circular structure. A few gems partly make up for these missed points, the swinging beat and slide guitar in New Town Burnout creates a fantastically hypnotic groove, and the album closes on a heavenly plateau with the pop choruses of Amanita. But despite some radiant peaks, Centipede Hz ultimately suffers from a lack of consistency.

 

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Words: James Balmont

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