Animal Collective are one of the most revered bands in the experimental / indie sphere, and when its members have left the confines of the collective to venture out on their own, they've usually found nearly comparable success. Panda Bear (AKA Noah Lennox) is the group's best-known solo artist, with two well-received albums under his belt, and Avey Tare was the second band member to go it alone, releasing the murky Down There in 2010. He's now teamed up with former members of Dirty Projectors and Ponytail to form Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, a horror-inspired supergroup of sorts, to release Enter The Slasher House. The album, officially out on April 8th, is streaming today, accompanied by trippy visuals from frequent AnCo collaborator Abby Portner. Watch above.
Though previously-released track "Little Fang" seemed to hint at Ariel Pink-esque psychedelic pop, most of Enter The Slasher House bears little resemblance to that song's easygoing sound. Tare and Co. opt instead for something like a less electronic version of Animal Collective's noisy, tribal skronk-rock, aided hugely by former Ponytail member Jeremy Hyman absolutely destroying his drum kit throughout the album. On the blast-beat-fueled "Blind Babe," he comes off sounding like Zach Hill (of the groups Hella and Death Grips), leading to the surprising realization that, if you threw in a little more distortion and sonically oppressive bass, it really wouldn't sound weird to hear MC Ride rapping over much of Enter The Slasher House. This is the heaviest solo stuff we've heard from an AnCo member yet, and even rivals some of the band's wildest tracks, with "Wide Eyed" from 2012's Centipede Hz seeming like this album's biggest reference point.
Angel Deradoorian, formerly of Dirty Projectors, is also a member of Slasher Flicks, and while her otherworldly voice may be underused on Enter The Slasher House, some influence from her former band manages to seep into the album. Dave Longstreth (also of DP) has long been known as an advocate for all-day, non-stop practice sessions for his bandmates to master his intricately off-kilter grooves, and that sort of precision is more audible on Enter The Slasher House than it is on most AnCo material. From the dubby bounce in the opening seconds of "Modern Days E," to the complex, hyperkinetic rhythm of "The Outlaw," Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks seem like an impeccably rehearsed band. Maintaining tempo and coordination between band members seems like a difficult task among all of the waves of psychedelic effects added to their music, but you wouldn't know it from how effortless all of the tracks sound.
While Enter The Slasher House may seem a little "out there" upon first listen (which isn't entirely untrue), at its core it's a collection of intriguingly-composed songs by a group of very skilled musicians that continues to reveal its nuances with each listen. Abby Portner's creepy visuals add to the album's horror-inspired vibe, and will probably persuade you to never imbibe psychedelics while listening to Enter The Slasher House. Check out the tracklist below, preorder Enter The Slasher House from Domino Records and visit Animal Collective's Zumic artist page for more of their music, videos and news.
Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks Enter The Slasher House tracklist:
1. "A Sender" - 5:36
2. "Duplex Trip" - 4:20
3. "Blind Babe" - 3:44
4. "Little Fang" - 4:12
5. "Catchy (Was Contagious)" - 3:21
6. "That It Won't Grow" - 4:28
7. "The Outlaw" - 5:51
8. "Roses on the Window" - 6:43
9. "Modern Days E" - 3:22
10. "Strange Colores" - 3:00
11. "Your Card" - 5:08