Album of the week:
Album: Animal Collective, Centipede Hz (Domino)
Wild ones are making all the wrong noises
At one point in the track "Applesauce", someone sings the line, "Show me a way I can simplify", and I surely won't be the only listener who at that moment raises an ironic eyebrow; because if ever an album needed simplifying, it's Centipede Hz.
For this follow-up to the acclaimed Merriweather Post Pavilion, guitarist Deakin rejoined the Animal Collective line-up, though his return is possibly less significant in the change of the group's sound here than their return to working as a band together in the same studio, as opposed to using samplers and tracking each sound element individually. This is more obviously the work of a band, with actual drums driving the songs, rather than drum programmes.
Despite that, it's no less cluttered and over-egged than Merriweather, although the outlines of actual songs are occasionally discernible beneath the hubbub of insistent ostinatos, peppery percussion and distracting noise of tracks like "Wide Eyed" and "Rosie Oh". In the latter, it's as if the singer follows one melody while the instruments sail off gaily in several other directions, the song existing at their seemingly random collision-points. And on "New Town Burnout", rather than honing the song to a cutting-edge, every element seems to be trying to distract attention from the song, burying it beneath rattling percussion and whistling synths. To make things worse, an almost constant drizzle of background sound, radio interference, static and wheezing synth noise underscores everything as the songs segue into each other.
It wouldn't be so bad, but the songs are often too routine to merit the attention: "Today's Supernatural", for instance, resembles a conventional US indie song by a group like Weezer, half-hidden by surplus sonic shrubbery.
And while "Monkey Riches" attains a pleasing enough galloping momentum, it appears as much a shock to the band as it does to the listener, the singer wondering out loud "how I ever wrote this song". You can't blame him: while there's some interesting moments to be found here, for the most part Centipede Hz is a fatiguing experience.
Download: Monkey Riches; Father Time
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Paris charity auction staged to save the ancient city of Tyre
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
Geoffrey Macnab: The Wolf of Wall Street's account of white-collar excess is A Rake’s Progress on steroids
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Arts & Ents blogs
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, film review
Brian Griffin returns: Cartoon dog back from the dead in Family Guy Christmas episode
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
The Wolf of Wall Street, film review: 'A lurid, profanity bespattered movie'
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 4 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- 5 Status: Wet - Woman walks off a pier while checking Facebook on her phone
- < Previous
- Next >