Review Summary: ODDSAC is weird and wonderful, a visualization into the mind of Animal Collectve
Anyone familiar with Animal Collective’s blend of folk, psychedelic, melodic, mind-bending music knew not to expect anything “normal” when their visual album, ODDSAC
, produced with director Danny Perez, was set to release. Setting Animal Collective’s ever changing musical palate up against a visual film aspect could be a recipe for disaster or a marvelous experiment in how an “album” can be done. What the viewer gains from a viewing of ODDSAC
depends on their opinion of the Collective’s style of music.
is not for the first-time Animal Collective listener. The majority of the music harkens back to the bands more noise based revelries more then the recent “poppy” precedent of Merrriwether Post Pavilion
. Although there are a few tracks that show off the harmonization side of the band, such as “Lady On The Lake” And “What Happened”, the bulk of ODDSAC
is noise centered in it’s approach. Although this may have to do with the “plot” of the film, which resembles something of a B type horror film washed in shimmering psychedelic aura. Director Danny Perez does a wonderful job of putting a visual spin on the music of Animal Collective, with all the members staring in the film.
Starting with some fire-wielders inter-spacing with a lone girl trying to stop a wall from leaking black liquid, ODDSAC
gives us vampires, lots of shiny colors and textures, a disturbing family camp scene (not to give away major “plot” points), pulsating color-changing dots, a lone drummer on a field of rocks, and a red-bodied, towel wearing manic man who is featured at points in the film. There may or may not be an actual coherent story to follow, but this should not detract from the real majesty of ODDSAC
, the music. The Collective conjures up some of the most abstract textures they have ever composed such as in “Mr. Fingers“ and “Fried Camp”, and yet also utilize the wonderful voices of Avey Tare and Panda Bear to great effect throughout ODDSAC
. The beautiful acoustic sounds of “Screens” washing over a lone vampire paddling down a lake contrasts beautifully with the pulsating colors and noise of “Urban Creme” which follows right after. It is this type of odd combinations that both make ODDSAC
a riveting listen and a weird force to behold. The sweet, sugary music when a lone solitary figure is walking the rocks, assembling a strewn together drum set, gets ripped apart by loud, heavy pulses of sound, until it finally breaks into a drum led epiphany of sound.
It is this display of dynamics, of frequencies, as well as visual hysterics and psychosis that make ODDSAC
a challenging view and listen even for seasoned Animal Collective fans. It’s within the folds of what the band has done before, and yet, it’s something different. Maybe it’s the visual component, but the music of ODDSAC
just feels like the band is evolving. It doesn’t barrow extensively from any of their albums but instead barrows from each, whether it be the simple dynamics of Spirit They’ve Vanished
, the melody of Merriwether
, or the atmosphere of Fall Be Kind
sees Animal Collective firing on all cylinders, and with the help of Danny Perez, creating something encompassing, dynamic, obtusely weird, and yet hauntingly beautiful all at the same time. There’s something disturbing about hearing a beautiful simple song as a women washes clothes in water, and then seeing that same woman and her family die a short time later, but yet in the context of ODDSAC
it seems more natural then grotesque. It is just another day in this weird, oddball land that Animal Collective has dreamed up.
is a whirlwind of noise, melody, visuals, and enough colors to fill a kaleidoscope. Animal Collective and Danny Perez have created a “visual album” that pushes the limits on both aspects and creates something beautiful, horrifying, and mysterious. This is something that requires many more then one viewing, and should be a staple in any Animal Collective fan’s collection, and also in the collection of fans of music, movies, and art in general.