Animal Collective – ‘Today’s Supernatural’

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With the critical and commercial success of Merriweather Post Pavilion – which was widely-regarded as one of, if not the best albums of 2009, Animal Collective have very big shoes to fill… And they began that process this week with the debut of the first official single from the band’s forthcoming tenth album, Centipede HZ, which is to be released in less than a month.

The track, titled ‘Today’s Supernatural’, is 4 minutes and 18 seconds of hyperactive electronic layers, sonic textures, pounding piano and psychedelic sound effects. With Avery Tare’s frantic vocals roaring throughout, the song takes you off on a wave of loud exultation, out to space, and never lets you go. There’s so much being shoved into the song that it feels like the music is spilling out over the edge.

This is not Merriweather though; far from it, with the rich melody and airy vocals replaced by a jagged friction of restless percussion, hazy space-like rhythms and the voice of a crazy man. It is, simply, a racket; and Animal Collective haven’t sounded this maniac since Sung Tongs.

Are we surprised though? After all, the quartet are renowned – just like Radiohead and Liars – for changing styles between albums and, on this basis, they won’t be disappointing their hardcore fans (though expect a newer fan backlash).

Deakin – back from his one album hiatus – promised it would be weird. The band surely delivered (This is pretty much the music equivalent of acid). The next question is; what else is in store?

8/10

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