REVIEW: Animal Collective — Painting With

Here comes album number 10 by Animal Collective. Although it’s been four years since we’ve last heard from them, Painting With jumps out of the speakers like a deranged, digitally rendered pet that just ran away from home for a few days and didn’t know it was lost. Now it’s rabid, full of sunshine and massive — although if you tried to ride it you’d most definitely find yourself in a cloud of dust with a broken coccyx.

What the hell is going on in the first single, “FloriDada?” Singer Avey Tare says it was “sort of inspired by hating on people in Florida.” Really, it just sounds like your middle school friend who forgot to take his Ritalin and is presently bouncing off the walls in geometry class while repeating some barely perceptible gibberish.

“Hocus Pocus” is absurd, pretty, and drone-y. It doesn’t make sense, but is it supposed to? “Vertical” slaps the drums hard and let’s us know that “The parking lot is way too hot”. Then, if you ever decided to drop acid and watch Glee while a friend noodled on the sax, you’d probably hear “Lying In The Grass.”

An interesting fact about Painting With is that it was recorded in Studio 3 room at EastWest studios — the same room Brian Wilson used to recorded Pet Sounds in 1966. Bizarrely, the vocals at the beginning of “The Burglars” bring Brian Wilson to mind. “Bagels In Kiev” gives a shout out to the capital of Ukraine and has the vibe of a crimp by Howard Moon and Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh — it’s random as hell, but super catchy.

As Painting With reaches its close, “Golden Gal” takes the cake for best beat on the record. “Recycling” ends the LP on a slightly less sporadic vibe — however, it still keeps the bounce and wackiness that carry on throughout.

At times Animal Collective touches on something gorgeous here. But everything jumps so quickly it can be hard to savor — unless you’re ready to hop up and bounce along too. If you’re ready to descend into absurdness and a borderline cacophonous cyclone, just press play.

Written by Daniel Ward

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