If the wave of ’60s British pop got together with an auto-electric new-age group, their grungy lovechild would be the indie band Animal Collective and their latest album Centipede Hz.
Centipede Hz diverts slightly from Merriweather Post Pavilion, creating tracks more lyric-heavy and fast-paced. Whereas previous albums use sound almost randomly, this record blends techno and other more easily recognizable musical forms. As a result, there’s something vintage about Centipede Hz, something that reminds of Beatles’ trippy phase.
If you can overlook the album’s monotonous tone and tempo, there are some beautifully pithy lyrics: “I eat a mango and I feel like a little honey can roll” and “One day maybe I’ll have a cool kid with a granny but I don’t pose for applesauce on clothes.” The album is filled with such gnomic lyrics. Without obvious meaning, the likes of “Applesauce” might be the product of an acid trip. If the album reveals anything about the minds of bandmates Avey Tare, Geologist, Deakin and Panda Bear, it’s a pinhole view. Throughout, there are glimmers of a tree-hugger’s political statement—“When I want fruit I can find it wherever I please/ What if I should wake up and find dudes on the street waiting in lines or scrounging for berries?”—faintly reminiscent of their 2003 album Campfire Songs. And when it comes to socially aware hippie indie albums, I’m happy to take two.
The last song on the album, “Amanita,” feels like an invitation to join in Animal Collective’s madness. And the album’s final words don’t feel like they’re finishing anything. Instead, the story lingers unfinished, as they sing “I’m gonna come back and things will be different/ I’m gonna bring back some stories and games.” Surprisingly chilling and yet nostalgic, Animal Collective’s Centipede Hz is a confounding experience. It’s an album that touches the innermost parts of my subconscious and left me with thoughts I didn’t know existed. That’s the magic of Animal Collective. Just let it happen.