Animal Collective - Centipede Hz

Centipede Hz is the ninth full length album from Animal Collective from Baltimore, Maryland. It was announced that on August 19th at 9:00PM eastern time, the band's online radio show would debut their new highly anticipated record in its entirety. 

So, we gathered to have a listening party. We plugged our friend's computer into a couple 300 watt speakers and tuned in. The first hour was a compilation Brian Weitz (aka: Geologist) posted of 17 songs that influenced their new album. It was a smart move to wait, to give more time for lazy hipsters to get out of their jobs early and make their way to the computer without missing the experience start to finish.


And oh my god… was it an experience…


I can't remember the exact time, but about 20 or so of our friends had gathered when we heard "WARNING. BROADCASTING TO YOU NOW FROM CENTIPEDE Hz". It was like I was waiting for the Apollo 11 to launch into space. The countdown had reached zero.

Our ears were invaded with distorted cymbals and synthesized pulses, then the familiar voices of Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Avey Tare (David Portner) wrapped around Deakin's (Josh Dibb) texture that I have so highly acclaimed since AC's 2005 release, "Feels". To keep every listener attentive (as if the music wasn't enough), Abby Portner had compiled stunning visuals for each song.

The most effective part of the premier was the end of "Applesauce" as Avey screams "4 the soul, 4 the soul, 4 the soul" while the visuals comply with a close up of Tare's mouth singing as a giant number 4 repetitively bursts out of his mouth. As I gawked at the happenstance, I managed to turn my head to see my friend Leilani with the exact same facial expression. This album is a drug, and there are irreversible long term effects.

The electric guitars on this album are easily not recognizable in the spread of synthesized instrumentation, but they add so much to the product as a whole. They consciously turn away from the familiar paths that this band has taken with previous releases such as the synth-pop record "Merriweather Post Pavilion", or "Feels" which was riddled with delay. Certain Animal Collective elements are very familiar, though. In particular, I find Panda Bear has found a distinct formula to his compositions and percussion style. 

Two more of my favourites are the last two tracks of Centipede Hz. "Pulleys" sounds as if you are being lifted higher and higher on a conveyor belt with every rim hit after taking some ketamine. "Amanita" reflects a little bit of "Leaf House" in a way that doesn't prepare you to reestablish your body and mind into the real world. The Hz vibes are too infectious, too addictive.


When I listen to this record I feel the same as when I finally find a comfortable position in bed, or when I turn around and see a friend I haven't seen in two years. 


It isn't nostalgia, it's simply picking up right where we left off.