Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks - Enter the Slasher House

by D R Pautsch Rating:7 Release Date:2014-04-08

Avery Tare's latest work away from Animal Collective has arrived. It's difficult to review this without discussing AC. Centipede HZ was such an about-face from the lush Merriwheather Post Pavilion, it's intriguing to see who may have been behind the sound direction. 

Given that after this we will get another Panda Bear album, we may get the answer - or may get the new AC direction, who knows? Alongside him are Dirty Projectors' Angel Deradoorian and Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail, but it's really all about Tare. 

This offering lies somewhere between the last two AC albums in its sound and direction. At times, it feels like it could have been the missing link. Yes, there are some electronic noises and, yes, the vocals are mainly processed, but there are moments of beauty and maybe some of Tare's best work.

Enter the Slasher House  has pop sensibilities worn freely on 'Modern Days E' and 'Roses on the Window'. There are what might be choruses but, as you would expect, no tracks are straightforward. Strange Colores is a good example of the kind of music on offer here: A bouncy, almost dance track with moments where you can sing along as well as totally indecipherable sections. It's quite good fun but completely bonkers at the same time.  

However, there is one track on here which not only reminds the listener of AC's best and most accessible moments, it probably exceeds them. 'Little Fang' is the song summer was invented for. With its charming almost, mainstream approach and chorus, it bounces along joyfully and without any pretensions. It's quite simply marvelous.

There are moments where it doesn't quite work; the closer 'Your Card' outstays its welcome, losing focus partway through.  A few other tracks just sound clever and not much more.

It's not all glory here. It will reward with more listens, though, and it will be fascinating to see what comes after this. For now, this quarter of Animal Collective has released an intriguing record which could easily be branded as an AC album, although not one of their best.

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