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Animal Collective - Hollindagain

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Artist: Animal Collective

Album: Hollindagain

Label: Paw Tracks

Review date: Dec. 5, 2006

Animal Collective’s output is never less than interesting and often absolutely superb, depending upon how much pretensiousness creeps into their unique version of Avant-Folk, or pastoral noise and twisted pop — several currently fashionable labels will suffice as descriptors. This welcome reissue of the band’s only live album captures both their brilliance and excess, providing a very satisfying if somewhat dated portrait of this ever-evolving aggregate.

Recorded during the same period as Danse Manatee (the second and more wildly experimental of Avey Tare, Panda Bear and the Geologist’s initial offerings), the music on Hollindagain ranges widely in scope; the frantically structured “Forest Gospel” is balanced, or perhaps offset, by the quasi-industrial “Pumpkin gets a Snakebite,” these two tracks waxed during the group’s summer 2001 tour with Black Dice.

The noisier short tracks here anticipate 2003’s Here Comes the Indian, in all its problematic but exhilarating glory, but the first two pieces, each over 10 minutes, form the disc’s strongest material. “I See you Pan” and “Pride and Fight” swell, burn and rumble by turn, pulses intertwining like cogs in some well-oiled machine. The first, transparent but full, gradually gives rise to some rustic techno, reminiscent of Throbbing Gristle circa 1979, from which the most beautiful vocalizations emerge. In fact, the unforced merging of acoustic and electronic instruments creates the disc’s most gorgeous timbres as familiar but inscrutable fragments drift in and out of focus.

There is something fresh about this material; the longer tracks especially document a rich phase in this group’s development, hovering just above abstraction and rhetorical simplicity, creating an atmosphere that exudes the finest elements of both. Far from just a completists’ reissue, it will be enjoyed by old and new fans alike.

By Marc Medwin

Other Reviews of Animal Collective

Here Comes the Indian

Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished/Danse Manatee

Sung Tongs



Strawberry Jam

Water Curses

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Fall Be Kind

Centipede Hz

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View all articles by Marc Medwin

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