Animal Collective Here Comes the Indian

[Paw Tracks; 2003]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: experimental folk, psychedelic rock, abstract rock
Others: Campfire Songs, Avey Tare & Panda Bear, Comets on Fire

This year marks the beginning of my association with four Brooklyn musicians known currently as the Animal Collective and Campfire Songs. Here Comes the Indian, Animal Collective’s co-2003 release to Campfire Songs, is quite a bit different than its more reliable cousin. Although the two albums have been released in the same year, by the same basic collective of musicians, Here Comes the Indian focuses more on the idea of creating pernicious musical structures rather than simplifying them. The Animal Collective consists of four artists: Avey Tare, Panda Bare, Deakin, and Geologist. They have been getting a lot of attention lately, and this is partially due to the fact that their music ranges from subtle acoustic delight (see Campfire Songs) to the uneasy, yet artistic, arrangements of this release. Whichever aspect the focus is on, you’re guaranteed a very involved experience. The first track, “Native Belle” is actually the only song on the album that even hints at a somewhat normal structure of songwriting.  It coasts along at a comparatively slow pace until “Hey Light” grabs hold of it and pulls it by its hair into a ritualistic Indian dance. The entire experience of Here Comes the Indian is one that is all over the map of daydreams and claustrophobia.  At times things can be modest and self-effacing, just to fool you by taking on a completely different direction that sometimes borders the insanity of Wonderful Rainbow. Of the two albums released this year, there seems to be a split decision from critics and writers alike as to which of these projects is their favorite. I enjoy certain parts of this album, but if I’m going to give my opinion of which I like better, I’d have to say Campfire Songs is the more pleasurable experience of the two.

1. Native Belle
2. Hey Light
3. Infant Dressing Table
4. Panic
5. Two Sails on a Sound
6. Slippi
7. Too Soon

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