Animal Collective’s Panda Bear has long been the most well-known and successful member of the chart topping rock band. Despite this, Dave Portner, AKA Avey Tare, has also made a name for himself with his new solo side project ‘Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks.’ When recently interviewed, Avey cited how his admiration for horror films and cartoonish songs like ‘Monster Mash’ inspired this quirky band name. But even with their so called horrifying album title ‘Enter the Slasher House,’ this LP is far from scary or ghoulish and is really more of a groove-centric album with complex layers of garage rock and pop elements.
Backed by ex-“Dirty Projector” Angel Deradoorian and “Ponytail” drummer Jeremy Hyman, “Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks” represents a stripped down extension of Animal Collective’s sound. The lead song “A Sender” highlights the band’s sun-soaked pop sound while mixing in the standard psychedelic rock sound akin to Tame Impala. The second song “Duplex Trip” illustrates these same lighthearted elements and harmonies most Animal Collective fans have come to expect. Most of the songs are also laden with sound effects, distortion, and a few background samples, making it hard for the listener to decipher any deeper meanings behind these catchy lyrics.
Speaking of catchiness, the album’s first single “Little Fang” oozes with house inspired and infectious lyrics reminiscent of 60s garage rock. It is one of the album’s best tracks and incorporates a straightforward melody where the narrator describes and celebrates one’s quirks. The next song “Catchy (Was Contagious)” is a very fitting title, because although the afro-beat laden song starts off very likable, it highlights one of the album’s problems of repeated use of whiny vocals. This trend can often get repetitive and contagious and is also present on the tracks “That It Won’t Grow” and “The Outlaw.” Both of which are dreamy, yet epic tracks that could be some of the album’s prized songs, were it not for the, at times, shrill sounding chorus as the end of each. Although the album is sonically gratifying, after a few listens some songs have their monotonous elements.
Aside from any issues, one of the great qualities of the album is how each track allows the listener to get lost in its intricacies and psychedelic elements. One such song is “Roses on the Window,” an unpredictable and atmospheric journey where one gets lost in the song’s transitions and blurred lyrics. This stand out track has an overall sensational feel to it. Another strong song, “Strange Colores,” is a pumped up tribal-beat inspired song that will surely get the listener exhilarated. Closing this LP with “Your Card” draws back to the overall eccentric elements of this album, a groovy psychedelic piece with highs and lows that take the listener on a sonically brilliant musical journey where the experience and ambience overshadows the sometimes inaccessible and drowned out lyrics. After a few listens rock fans and Animal Collective fans alike will be gratified by this psychedelic rock trip.
RECOMMENDED: This album is works well for all garage rock/pop fans and Animal Collective admirers alike because of its fun and atmospheric songs qualities.