Animal Collective – Centipede Hz
Animal Collective must be sick of the copycats by now. Since 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion went stratospheric, their brand of cerebral electronic pop has been cut, pasted and plagiarised by scores of less accomplished drones. So much so that on first spin new LP Centipede Hz could easily be mistaken for yet another counterfeit, rather than the latest workings of the Baltimore quartet.
Yet, in so many ways, these eleven cuts are unmistakably Animal Collective. Today’s Supernatural and the hyperactive Applesauce still swirl like a carnival carousel ride on overdrive; while familiar traces of melancholy flit through Panda Bear’s vocals; beautifully framed by the haze of Father Time’s woozy synthesizers and Pulleys’ brittle percussion.
It’s often engrossing, but there’s a puzzling lack of depth to several of these offerings – a point underlined by meandering sprawls like Wide Eyed. While far from a failure, Centipede Hz still feels awfully like a diluted facsimile of its two predecessors. We’ve come to expect more from the real thing. [Billy Hamilton]