Avey Tare - Enter the Slasher House
The Animal Collectivist's latest solo effort fits well with the group's established psych vibe
Animal Collective, as we now well know, offer a kind of phantasmagorical trip down the rabbit hole, a lysergic musical microdot that can leave the listener feeling both exhilarated and exhausted, but it’s a sensory overload that more often than not proves worth it in the end. This project from original member Avey Tare (David Portner) is a collaboration with Dirty Projectors singer Angel Deradoorian and Ponytail/ Dan Deacon drummer Jeremy Hyman, but it sounds pretty much like an Animal Collective record. There’s Portner’s vaguely manic, treated vocals straining on every song, those trademark claustrophobic layers of psych guitars and drums, the off-kilter time signature changes and that edgy delirium that makes the listener think the whole thing could tip of a cliff at any minute.
Which will please Animal Collective fans but personally I don’t see the point in one member going off and making an album that sounds exactly like Animal Collective. And if you’re going to bring in a singer like Deradoorian why bother keep her in the background to do barely noticeable cooing? Lead-off single 'Little Fang', with its very un-AC earworm groove and bright, swaying guitars, is deceptive in that it gives an impression that the album is something it’s not. While Enter The Slasher House feels like a bit like a missed opportunity, there are still tracks on here that could sit comfortably in Animal Collective’s impressive canon. Typically assured cartwheeling pop-psych numbers like ‘Catchy (Was Contagious)’, opener ‘A Sender’ and ‘Roses On The Window’ with its Tinariwen-on-mescaline dusty groove show why Portner is a key driving force in the band’s singular sound. Given that Animal Collective as a unit are prone to go on hiatus, the record, however unintentionally, is a solid reminder of their heady allure. Whether really we needed that reminder is another matter.
Available from Mon 7 Apr via Domino.