Animal Collective achieved widespread success with 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion but have just released a handful of singles since then. Needless to say Centipede HZ has been a highly anticipated release since Deakin rejoined the group in 2010. The four members of Animal Collective moved back to their hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, in early 2011, to begin writing and recording the album. They traded in some of the pop sensibilities and ambient moments of Merriweather Post Pavilion for a more "live-band-feel," employing instruments like pianos and drum-kits. The result is a return to their more experimental roots, with traces of psychedelic rock, garage, and the avant-garde. With so many elements at play the music can come off cacophonously at first. There is a lot to take in, but for the tenacious listener the rewards are numerous. There are some transcendental indie rock songs hiding out beneath all of the chaos. Centipede HZ is all abstract expressionism in sonic form. Not quite as surreal as some of it's predecessors, but twisted and garish enough to make you like it.
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 10/2012