A List of the Burning Mountains
Nov 15, 2012 Issue #43 - Animal Collective
Here’s the 12th album in 15 years by these prolific and singular Brooklynites, recorded in their beloved studio, the Ocropolis. It finds the band in a low gear, almost idling. Unsurprisingly for a group that can so effortlessly lock into 10-plus-minute endurance jams, this particular idle is like that of an unpredictable, high-horsepower engine—all sputtering nervous energy, audible tension in the holding back. Drummer/piston Kid Millions barely finds a beat on this pair of 19-minute tunes, instead painting texture in tom rumbles, arrhythmic snare hits, and deconstructed blast beats. He provides sharp spikes in an oily sea of churning, distorted low-end; a caustic space-jam enhanced with swelling synths and organs, a litany of effects pedals, and occasional climactic bursts of brutal white noise.
It’s an immersive, oddly soothing pit stop of a record for these stubborn stalwarts of experimental rock, perhaps just a quick rest after their delightfully unchecked ambitions spawned triple records and 12-hour improvisational sets. It says “we’re still here” and marches back and forth like a tiger in a cage, coldly observing every other sound emanating from Brooklyn’s fertile mess with zero concern for what’s deemed the latest and greatest. It’s all kinetic energy—a slow, masterful, volcanic build. Burning mountains indeed. When they crank it up again, take cover. (www.enemyhogs.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 7/10
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