To their credit, Animal Collective haven't completely shrugged off their foundation of weirdness. Despite garnering a bafflingly big fanbase—due mostly to the sparkling, designer-drug sounds on 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion—they're still ornamenting their twinkly, simple, rave-ready melodies with sonic curveballs and downright ugly noises. The new Centipede Hz could have been their bid for the mainstream; rather, it's a strange, affable record with some catchy tunes and a thick bath of wretched-sounding digital timbres. It seems that Animal Collective's high-water mark of 2005's Feels won't likely be revisited—that record actually sounded like elemental demigods being awoken from a deep slumber. Merriweather and Centipede, on the other hand, are much closer to the truth, sounding like a group of smart kids fucking around with digital toys. NED LANNAMANN
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