CD Review – Animal Collective, Centipede Hz, Domino, 2012


Library Classification: Experimental
File Under:  A

Artist:  Animal Collective
Title:  Centipede Hz
Label:  Domino

Date(s) Recorded:  2012
Date Released:  09/04/2012
Date Received:  08/30/2012

Clean:  All
Indecent:  None

RIYL: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Menomena, of Montreal
In a nutshell: Beach Boys harmonies over choppy beats & radio static. Way more experimental than Radiohead and also more manic than depressive.
Play: 2-Today’s Supernatural, 8-Monkey Riches, 4-Applesauce, 1-Moon Jock, 11-Amanita

Comments:  Centipede Hz (Hertz) is the ninth studio album by Baltimore-based Animal Collective. It’s a departure from their last album, Merriweather Post-Pavillion (which enjoyed critical & commercial success). By contrast, Centipede Hz is a darker, weirder, and generally more experimental album. This album also sees the return of band member Deakin (Joshua Dibb), who sat out MPP.

This album was supposed to have more of a live feel to it, and borrows a lot of use of radio spots, static, and twisted frequencies. 2-Today’s Supernatural is the first single, and the easiest way in. The “Le-Le-Le-Let It Go” hook is both super-catchy, and super-glitchy, It’s probably an easy trick by now, but it works, and damn if you don’t want to go along with Avey Tare on the weird ride through the desert with a floating pair of arms and a Chinese Dragon in a dune buggy. (Oh wait, that’s the video.) 1-Moonjock is the obvious other entry point, starting the album off with a bang.

Plenty of diversions here.  4-Applesauce is a love song to mangos, star fruit, cherries, and obviously apples. However, it’s really about transcendence. “Ripe and whole, we can move outside us.” In some ways, this album is a response to the success of their last. On 8-Monkey Riches he asks “Why Am I Still Looking For A Golden Age?” which is a fair enough question when your critics and fans love you. So, what do you do? You look back to your weird roots, and find other ways to get weirder.

Album closer, 11-Amanita, looks back to imagery from older stories: vikings, bogs, sea sirens. “What are you gonna do? Go in to the forest until I can’t remember my name. I’m gonna come back and things will be different. I’m gonna bring back some stories and games.” So, the album is really about reinvention, about mining the past, and other sources to find something new, something that sounds if not futuristic, at least like the overstimulated now. -DJWB