Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CD Review: Crack Box (Animal Collective)

(Part One of Three)

Animal Collective
Release: 2009

The first batch of tracks (A Series) were recorded nine years ago. The A Series is choppy, featuring slippery and dizzying beats behind droning vocals. It's not too distant from what the crew would produce years later, though. The 'freak' element is "flaming" (for lack of a better word) in "Jimmy Raven." "Ahhh Good Country" is a mixture of fireworks, crazy alarm-like noises, and a really shitty vocal track of all words unintelligible. "Iko Ovo" is a repetition of "what they don't see" or something like that and has an interesting increasing/decreasing drum beat dynamic. It's really intense actually. Good horror film material.

The Pumpkins (B Series) were recorded in 2001. They aren't much of a departure from what we can hear in A Series. Quite a bit of electronic influence can be heard in "Pumpkin Gets A Snakebite." There is an alienic, cutting-out effect present throughout. The last line "Oooh my pumpkin is dddddd-ddddying" is a great way to end the song. "Pumpkin's Hallucination" is still absolute noisiness, but there is a certain complexity that appears here for the first time in Crack Box. The simplistic pounding bass is still there, don't worry! The ending is freaky. Oh shit not again! That's my first reaction to "Pumpkin's Funeral." Why? Because the freaky ending of "Pumpkin's Hallucination" continues for another minute in this song. The other three minutes are okay.

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