Animal Collective: Keep + Animal Collective Review
It would be a fun game to go back in time to the chat with a music head in 2004, someone who had just picked up the record Sung Tongs from some still under the radar band from Baltimore, this “Animal Collective.” As you sat with them, listening to the freaked out, herky jerky pop music that the four art kids created, I bet you would have a pretty difficult time convincing them exactly how far 2011 Animal Collective had come. First was their mega selling Merriweather Post Pavilionthat dominated the indieverse in 2010, and now the band are back with a mixtape, with one song from each member, for a new set of Animal Collective sneakers. Yep, this plucky, weirdo art band have their own shoe line. The times they are a changin.
Bringing the recently MIA member Deakin back into the fold, the EP is short (12 minutes spread over the 4 songs), but is a really cool representation of the four unique sounds that the group fuses together to create their full sound. Starting with the beeps and hisses of “Jailhouse” from resident knob twister Geologist, the tape starts in a mellow and hypnotic form. Avey Tare picks things up a little with his contribution “Call Home (Buy Grapes),” which sounds like the most warped Animal Collective you could think of filtered through the dark pop freakouts of The Knife. “Country Report,” the track by Deakin, could be mistaken for Panda Bear, with pretty keys rolling along with effect laden vocals and simple percussion, creating a dreamlike number that seems to envelope the listener from the speakers. The last track “The Preakness” actually is from Panda Bear, and it is the warm, ambient electro pop that has made him arguably even a bigger draw than his band.
While this shouldn’t be a starting point for fans unfamiliar with the groups work, the tape is a cool document that helps to extrapolate a little on where each member is coming from when they work together under the Animal Collective banner. No matter what the music head from ’03 thinks, Animal Collective are a big enough band now to warrant a line of shoes (although I am not sure how you quantify being big enough for your own shoes). Luckily for us, they are still cool enough dudes to package said shoes with a four song tape that features their music, which is as interesting and engaging as ever.
Writer / co-founder