Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks
Enter the Slasher House
Apr 14, 2014 Web Exclusive
Animal Collective's Dave Portner said his new solo effort, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, was inspired by horror films, like the name implies. The bad news is that if he meant Enter the Slasher House to sound scary, he pretty much failed. The good news is, that doesn't make it a bad record at all. In fact, it's as fun as any Animal Collective record, and even a bit lighter. Centipede Hz was probably darker and more unsettling, whereas Enter the Slasher House boasts bursting melodies against slightly ominous, organic soundscapes. It's campy, sure, but it's mostly just pretty good.
The most surprising element on Enter the Slasher House is the straightforward groove on lead single "Little Fang"—surprising because it sticks to a traditional sound instead of bouncing off into Portner's hyper art pop. Again, there's not much here that doesn't sound like an early Animal Collective record, except for the missing tonal wash of Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear. Some might wish to write off Enter the Slasher House as a missed opportunity that resulted in mediocre psych-pop, but there are some decent tracks here. The aforementioned "Little Fang" is delightfully addictive, and "That It Won't Grow" opens up with a pulsating cacophony before dropping off into quiet storytelling. Other highlights include "The Outlaw," another aggressive but lighthearted experiment with chaos, and "Strange Colores," a headbobbing descent into some kind of madness.
Maybe the intended experience was never the horror of a terrifying movie, but the over-the-top ridiculousness at the concept itself. In this regard, Enter the Slasher House is a fairly successful recreation of the sheer joy experienced in the intentionally macabre. It's a little silly sometimes, but who's going to fault anyone for that? (www.entertheslasherhouse.com)
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Average reader rating: 9/10