Review Summary: The Collective release EP full of folk and fuzz. Title track delivers, but others don't quite.
People do many things. People dance, people play, people kill, people eat and people forget. Do people usually re-release Australian EP’s of Noise Folk tenderness? No, but apparently New York folk group Animal Collective do.
People is Animal Collective’s most recent EP, a brilliant example of their genre fusing/defining sound and the brilliance that was being created during the sessions for their amazing 2005 LP, Feels. The EP begins with [title track] People, a loud, watery and heavily effected romp through the sounds of the Collective. The only vocals to be heard on the track are that of lead Animal Avey Tare (Dave Portner) crowing the word “People” through a thick, misty distortion, while band mates, Deakin, Geologist and Panda Bear fill the rest of the track out with fuzz and melody. The driving instrument in the track is a loud, rumbling bass tone that soldiers on through much of the track, carrying the oodles of drums, and swirling six string sounds that Panda and Geologist leave in their wake. This track is guaranteed to make one feel ten feet taller.
In a stark contrast to People, the next track, Tikwid is very much a vocal centric affair. The piano filled tune sports more of Dave’s classic warble, over a much more experimental (yet oh so poppy) weave of guitars, tympani esque drums and keys. Dave lets loose a few soaring “Ooohs” during the middle portion of the track, very akin to Feels highlight, Banshee Beat. Unfortunately, unlike Banshee Beat, Tikwid is in no way the epic, sprawling masterpiece the former is. It is, however the bouncy middle ground between the opening track and the appropriately abstract third track My Favorite Colors. Much like the work of noted Abstract artists, My Favorite Colors hints at form and normality, but it’s decidedly un-normalness is what gives it such a powerful punch. Wailing vocals and a tangled mass of instrumentation make up the majority of this 2 minute tune and brings the question to mind, with only this mildly stimulating expression as a clue, what exactly are Animal Collective’s favorite colors?
The EP’s final track is a live rendition of the title track. Obviously, this version features much less effectery and the screams of hundreds of (presumably high) fans, but other than this it should be noted that People (Live) sounds very much like People (Studio), and therefore deserves much less of a description than the original version. Though I must admit, Dave’s live voice is exactly great in comparison to his orgasm-inducing studio vocals (though it is sort of satisfying to listen to him wail for 6 ½ minutes). People, as an EP, is a triumph for the New York based band, but unfortunately doesn’t quite measure up to their other works. If your looking for prime Collective go towards Feels (or pretty much any other album in their growing catalogue).