Animal Collective

Spunk!, 2005


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Ever roll your eyes through an entire record? I just did.

When somebody describes themselves as "quirky," Animal Collective must be the soundtrack to their lives. The nine songs here barely qualify as songs, coming off more as random noodlings with autoharp, high breathy male vocals and pointlessly extended songs with no musical resolution. Nominally, it can be classified as folk rock, I suppose, if you are the sort who needs labels.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Still, I defy anyone sober to sit through all five droning minutes of "Bees," which is nothing but autoharp, a couple of piano tinkles, some stupid spoken words about time and absolutely nothing to offer but pointless self-indulgence. "Banshee Beat" is nothing like its title, harnessing all the power of a diseased turtle in its blips and blurps and the ultra-high helium vocals. I found myself wishing someone with an electric guitar would go beat these guys in the head with it just to make this stuff stop.

Songs like "Daffy Duck" and "Loch Raven" are one wind chime short of being new age, while "Turn Into Something" shows a bit of indie pop promise but quickly dissolves into floating ether nonsense. It's all very pretentious, especially on the opener "Did You See The Words," which isn't awful musically, and the wall-of-sound on "Flesh Canoe" (gotta love all the terrible song titles) which would make Phil Spector happy but is in service of nonsense.

I know these guys are indie rock heroes, and maybe their later stuff is better, because this album was a pile of bat dung. The only one who got something out of it was my infant son who, when I handed him the CD jewel case, tried to eat it. Spare yourself the 51 minutes and go do something else.

Rating: D-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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