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coverpic flag US - Maryland - Full Moon 112 - 11/16/05

Animal Collective
Fat Cat

There's a moment in "Banshee Beat" on Feels that distills the very thing about the Animal Collective that I love the most: the way they can create an apparently unshifting sonic haze, and then suddenly the fog will part, and shafts of pure white light will burn through. It's just a chord change, and the shimmering delayed guitar moves up in register, signalling a transformation in the mood of the whole song. It's sublime. No other band can quite pull off moments like this.

Much is made of the more childlike, chaotic side of the Collective, as showcased on Feels with the tracks "Grass" and "Purple Bottle". Great songs, sure, but they're the ones I get tired off the fastest. It's the more woozy, contemplative side that keeps me coming back for more. The aforementioned "Banshee Beat" and the gorgeous "Loch Raven" are two of the best songs the Collective have yet to lay to tape, and for this alone you should get Feels.

Oh, and while you're at it, dive into the rest of their albums too, each one remarkable in its own right. But, for now, Feels is a great introduction to an incredible band who are seemingly always at the height of their game. And that game? Sonic play.

Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Animal Collective articles/reviews: Centipede Hz, FloriDada, Here Comes the Indian, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Spirit They're Gone Spirit They've Vanished / Danse Manatee, Strawberry Jam, Sung Tongs, The Fillmore, San Francisco, Sunday 5 March 2006.

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