Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks: Enter the Slasher House
In a decade-and-a-half, Animal Collective have created a compositional voice as instantly recognizable and badly imitated as equally stylized approaches in other mediums, from the Coen brothers’ stuttered cinematic quirk to Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s surreal humanism. The skittering drums, neon guitar splatters and sudden gibberish harmonies of Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks—a new trio led by the Animal sometime known as Dave Portner—will be well familiar to any Collective partisan, albeit far less impenetrable. With former Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman providing support and ever busy tom-tom rolls, Slasher Flicks sound more human than Animal, and arguably more like an actual live band than the Collective ever have. There’s still excess obfuscation, but the rewards of accessible melodies and sudden catchy refrains are so frequent that one might mistake all of the processed vocals and between-verse spaceouts and keyboard blurps and chattering vocals for fun. But don’t tell anyone.