CD Roundup: Deerhoof and Animal Collective

Today’s releases from Deerhoof and Animal Collective require multiple plays to appreciate.

by Spencer Doar

Artist: Deerhoof

Album: “Breakup Song”

Label: ATP Recordings

 

Bouncy and full of WTF moments, “Breakup Song” zooms by, clocking in at an easily repeatable 30 minutes of fun.

Fans of the group are accustomed to Deerhoof’s refusal to delve too deep into a particular theme or idea, coupling different elements into the same song with the ferocity of a spurned lover’s screeches outside his beloved’s bedroom window.

“Breakup Song” would be an appropriate listen after a nasty split. The shifts in style ought to keep your brain whirring long enough to prevent thoughts of that ex from creeping in.

Every so often, Deerhoof’s self-awareness of its own stylistic past make some of its tracks forced rather than appearing spontaneous. But overall the album is a worthy addition to Deerhoof’s indiscriminate canon.

“The Trouble with Candyhands” is a saucy and danceable track. “There’s That Grin” with its Wild Cherry “Play That Funky Music (White Boy)”-esque bass-line has the catchiness of a Gold Glover’s mitt, and the occasional club/techno elements are eerily acceptable in songs “Zero Seconds Pause” and “To Fly or Not to Fly.”

 “Breakup Song” will give you the iTunes-on-shuffle experience.

 

3 out of 4 stars

 

Artist: Animal Collective

Album: Centipede Hz

Label: Domino Records

 

Animal Collective’s meandering, tripped-out and, above all, melodic installation bolsters its reputation as a band that critics will struggle to classify.

Sounding like a collaboration of Simon & Garfunkel and the Flaming Lips or maybe, the lovechild of Iron Butterfly and Radiohead, Animal Collective has somehow managed to inject pace into songs that other groups would simply make plodding.

On 2009’s “Merriweather Post Pavillion,” Animal Collective ensnared listeners with a sonic net, whereas the wall of sound on “Centipede Hz” is more focused: punchier, with a greater of lows and highs.

Animal Collective’s music is easily susceptible to cannibalizing itself, taking away from its own bombardment by muddling the elements comprising the attack. “Centipede Hz” has done much to combat this problem, if it could really be called a problem. The track “Mercury Man,” with its complicated Blue Man Group-worthy background, is a perfect example of this.

Songs “Monkey Riches” and “Father Time” are reminders of one thing that has not changed: Animal Collective is masterful in building songs into a huge swell that culminates in an exclamation point.

A multi-faceted album, “Centipede Hz” explores feelings of latent dissatisfaction and mild agitation that thankfully do not leave the listener feeling that way.

 

3 out of 4 stars