Published Apr 08, 2014Animal Collective fans have long been divided into two camps, depending on whether they prefer the mellifluous melodies and sun-soaked samples of Noah Lennox (a.k.a. Panda Bear), or the outward explosions of id and guttural growls of Dave Portner (a.k.a Avey Tare). While not as obvious a division on individual Animal Collective albums, things become more apparent when it comes to their solo LPs, with the record purchasing public generally gravitating more towards the former (2011's critically-acclaimed Tomboy) than the latter (2010's much more maligned Down There).
Thankfully, Enter the Slasher House, the first from Portner's tongue-in-cheek jazz power trio known as Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, finds the Animal Collective co-frontman distancing himself from his band's previous LPs and his earlier solo work, creating an uncharacteristically refined set of '70s jazz-inspired avant-pop.
Anchored by the precision drumming of Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman and the astute embellishments of ex-Dirty Projectors multi-instrumentalist Angel Deradoorian, Portner is more Charles Mingus than masked marauder on his newest LP, guiding listeners (and his backing band) carefully through his haunting psych compositions, rather than barraging them with his usual array of audio atrocities.
Fans of Portner's back catalogue will immediately gel to groove-heavy compositions like second single "Strange Colores" and "That It Won't Grow," but there's also a subtler side to the LP, with the haunted yacht rock of lead single "Little Fang" and the more traditional "Roses On The Window" holding weight alongside the album's stranger segues. While not as rewarding on multiple listens as anything the Collective has ever produced, Enter the Slasher House is the ideal detour between now and the band's next record.
Read an interview with Avey Tare here. (Domino)