The Animal Collective Throw Some Notes Into The Noise Mangler 3000, Fred Rogers Style - Oh My Rockness

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The Animal Collective Throw Some Notes Into The Noise Mangler 3000, Fred Rogers Style

November 17, 2004
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Who are these guys? The abstract-freak-folk ensemble known as Animal Collective (primarily featuring Avey Tare and Panda Bear) beg you to ask this question. With enigmatic, nonsensical lyrics, and operating in an indefinable genre, Animal Collective are one of the more intriguing and imaginative groups in the NYC scene. And they like to play in the dark. Yikes!

Animal Collective, combining psychedelic freak-outs with Appalachian folk and the hooks of good old-fashioned punk, create something bordering on surreal euphoria. Throw in some Can-like symphonics, add a little prankster merriment, and you get a sound you have never heard before. Animal Collective are at their best when they take subtle, seductive sounds, like lush acoustic guitars, and throw them into their "Noise Mangler 3000." Ok, I just made that name up, but it seems more fitting for the machine that masters music manipulation than just calling it a "computer." It's easy to imagine Animal Collective piling all these sweet, pastoral sounds into a big metallic bin, flicking on big red switch, sitting back as it rumbles, and waiting for the beautiful sounds to emerge.

Like Black Dice, you aren't exactly sure what Animal Collective and their "thing" is all about. But if you can put on that dusty imagination hat you last wore when you were seven, Animal Collective's music has the ability to sweep you away to never never indie land. In fact, the case could be made that Animal Collective are really just making children's music under the guise of mysterious indie rock troubadours (I mean the one guy's name is Panda Bear, for goodness sake). With bouncing rhythms and a whimsical tone, this beats Raffi any day.

The Animal Collective play with Oakley Hall and Gang Gang Dance, Sunday, November 21st, at Knitting Factory.

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