Centipede Hz

Studio Album by released in 2012

Centipede Hz review

Heading back home

American band Animal Collective commented on their tenth album, Centipede Hz, putting it clearly that the record would be a big surprise to many, probably not a pleasant one. In fact, we are talking of a band here that is known for making surprises, albeit those have always been encouraging. Not once repeating themselves, the musicians have been good at offering something new on each album, as if least interested in playing same things over again. The band’s previous record, Merriweather Post Pavillion (2009), was in some sense a limit point since Animal Collective had never made material as complex and sophisticated. Now is the moment which arrives in any performer’s career sooner or later. Animal Collective returned to their roots. They did it both figuratively and geographically as they came back from New York to Baltimore to do the recording. Centipede Hz is an album that could be compared to an antique excavated by archeologists. While some do not care for old stuff, this thing might enchant others.

Garage or even barn sound

What Animal Collective return to on their new album is called by the band garage rock. To follow all the rules and standards, the musicians did have some of their sessions at a ranch of Josh Dibb. All kidding aside, Centipede Hz does have rock and roll sounding and feel. The musicians did not collect these songs out of pieces recorded here and there, live and on computer, but played them in the studio, like a true rocker should. Probably, the members of the collective somewhere overdid it trying to appear like a bunch of youngsters churning simple chords and trite tunes. At least, this is how the first two tracks, Moonjock, and Today's Supernatural are really executed. The singer’s words that sometimes you got to be mad do not seem very convincing: why would these people, experienced musicians and grownups, need that? After a folk rock episode titled Oh Rosie, we approach the stylistic and ideological core of the album, a wild acoustic blend called Applesauce with breaking rhythms and thick layers of static effects, and electronic madness Wide Eyed with oppressive percussion and somewhat like chants of shamans or crazy Tibet monks.

All musicians are responsible for what the album they made

An open-hearted ‘I-do-not-know-how-I-wrote-things-like-that’ confession hidden in Monkey Riches illustrates Animal Collective creative approach during the making of Centipede Hz. For the first time in many years, the album was penned by all the members, right in the studio, and the goal, as it seems, was to pile up all ideas they liked. That is why each song here has many fathers who shared the responsibility for all the good and bad moments of the record. The tracks of the CD do not have a steady structure, and the deliberately low sound quality may be the last straw for the unprepared listener. But this is Animal Collective. They have always been remarkable for being unpredictable, original. So their new album only seems, after the first get-to-know listen, to be an effort of a young, yet immature band. Behind these garage-like arrangements, noises and bangs, it is easy to recognize the style of these Americans, volatility of their patterns, vastness of their views, and depth of their approach. There is no guarantee that, if you are not the band’s fan, you will love this album. Yet at least out of curiosity, you should listen to it. At least once.