by Dave Segal

Animal Collective

Wed July 23


"I guess [our live shows] come off as pretty immature or childlike," admits Avey Tare (AKA Dave Portner) while on a tour stop in Houston, where his band Animal Collective is supporting its raw-nerved album, Here Comes the Indian. "One woman came up to us last tour and said, 'Did you ever see that movie where retarded kids try to make music? You guys are like that, but in a good way.' 'Uh, gee, thanks.'

Some people have a problem with our improvisations. The reactions tend to be all over the place, which gets us psyched."

Listening to the Brooklyn-based quartet's debut album (on its own Paw Tracks imprint via indietronica label Carpark) will certainly get adventurous music fans psyched--and/or drive them to psychosis. The disc's seven tracks sound more like atavistic rituals than conventional songs: Unpredictable dynamics, Tourette's Syndrome drumming, electronically tweaked field recordings, and Arthur Janov-approved chants coalesce into feral anti-compositions that recall eccentric tricksters like Red Krayola, Godz, Amon Düül I, Cromagnon, and Caroliner.

Tare acknowledges those artists' influence, but adds, "I think we just associate with the tribal feeling those groups have. Or 'primal' may be a better word. When we play, we like to make it fun, celebratory. We try to put as much of ourselves into it as we possibly can. Also, we like to keep things simple, with a rough punk aesthetic."

Unlike most bands, Animal Collective doesn't rehash old songs for live gigs. "We tour as we're creating stuff rather than release an album just to play songs off that album," Tare says. We like to make our performances special for people--and unpredictable, too. Or, by making them unpredictable, they become special."