November 08, 2006
Animal Collective. At first glance, Animal Collective seems like a group of overgrown children. The band members have monikers like Panda Bear and Geologist. During live shows they perform in masks. Their album titles have included Campfire Songs (2003) and Here Comes the Indian (2003). To the unaccustomed ear, their music can also sound like an elementary school music class, with all the kids banging their instruments and wailing all at once.
Beneath all of that childish whimsy and the musical clamoring of this New York City band, there is something deeply unselfconscious that compels one to keep listening. A patient listener will be rewarded by the intricate musical layers one can find amidst the dense sound of Animal Collective. They have been categorized as psych folk and noise rock, but it is hard to pin this band down to one category of music because of their eccentric sound. A sound framed by their often primal and heart thumping melodies.
Animal Collective has been recording since 2000 and has accumulated a wide fan base ever since. So far they have released eight albums, with the newest one being Hollinndagain, which was released on October 30. Although this new album is fantastic, it is a live album of their more experimental songs that they were performing in 2001.
For the first time listener, Campfire Songs might be a little more palatable, with its more folksy sound. What first will come off as a scatterbrained and immature sound will soon have you singing along to incomprehensible lyrics just like you did in that elementary school music class.