Thursday, 15 November 2007

Animal Collective

Live Review for The Skinny

animal collective - oran mor (glasgow) - 6/11 - (***)

Strawberry Jam has proved to be one of the most divisive albums of 2007, with just as many people saying they hate it as others who say they love it. Similarly, Animal Collective’s return to Glasgow splits the audience once frontman Avey Tare pulls out with a throat infection just hours before the gig. Playing on without him, Panda Bear and Geologist perform an hour of jams from Panda’s recent Person Pitch album, with only two Animal Collective tracks appearing all evening: Chores and Derek, both from Strawberry Jam. So for those unfamiliar with Person Pitch – not the easiest of records to get into on one live listen – it emerges as a frustrating night and not what they had bought their ticket for. Perhaps it should have just been cancelled instead: but on the other hand, for those who knew and enjoyed Person Pitch, hearing Take Pills and Bros instead of For Reverend Green is no great loss. In fact there's a real hypnotic quality about the dreamy throbs and echoing vocals - and the blinding background lights – which leaves the crowd silent and motionless, as if in a trance. Above scything synth noise and snatches of falsetto chorus hammered into a beat, Panda Bear sings like a stuttering yodeller in a cave, inducing those who are turned on to really tune in for the trip. Those who aren’t tuned in might have preferred it if Panda had dropped out at the start.


Nick said...

I still can't 'get' Animal Collective. I kinda like Feels when I switch off and don't listen too closely, but Strawberry Jam just gives me a headache. I feel like I should like them given what others are saying and because I usually go for experimentos, but I don't, particularly. I tried.

Good review man!

Ally Broon said...

Feels didn't totally grab me either, and when I first listened to Strawberry Jam I thought it was a painful and tiring listen. Then again I thought the same the first time I heard 'Ys' and you know that some albums deserve perseverance - so I persisted with Strawberry Jam and EVENTUALLY it really paid off.

Some might say if it takes an album several listens before you start enjoying it, it's not a good album. Personally I think the way the brain memorises and recognises musical patterns is incredibly important in determining how we enjoy music, so virtually everything gets AT LEAST 4 or 5 listens from me before I dismiss it. Not Razorlight though. I knew that was shite from the first bar.