Animal Collective - Fall Be Kind

by Rich Morris Rating:7 Release Date:2009-12-14

Back sooner than one would have thought possible after Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective's new EP opens with 'Graze' which starts off sounding like a sickly, syrupy song from a Disney movie before morphing into what can be loosely described as The Monkees doing a conga line with Igglepiggle from surreal kids TV show The Midnight Garden. It's weird but just a bit too… cute. Similarly, closing track 'I Think I Can' makes an impressive noise with its crashing tribal drums and multi-part harmonies, but, really, you can hear the same thing if you go and see the stage production of The Lion King.

Thankfully, the band up the weird quotient elsewhere. Second track 'What Would I Want? Sky' with Tangerine Dream ambient soundscapes underpinned by a hazily undulating beat before, well past the three minute mark, the band kick into the song proper. If The Orb had invented new rave, it would have sounded like this. 'Bleed', meanwhile, submerges the listener in a bath of droning noise and freefalling voices, creating a sense of dislocation which the following 'On a Highway' builds on, using dubby effects and mournful cello to summon a world of loneliness and alienation, of snatched and deteriorating images of people moving too fast to make connections. It's the EPs darkest moment, its most sonically innovative, and easily its best.

Richard Morris

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