For many years, Animal Collective has had a large discography of primarily experimental music. “Painting With” is the band’s tenth release in the band’s impressive seventeen-year run.
Their last release, 2012’s “Centipede Hz” was a step forward in their experimental direction, but a step back in meaning. The album lacked substance and was unlike like their 2009 magnum opus, “Merriweather Post Pavilion,” which happened to be the band’s most accessible album.
The lead single for this “Painting With” is the crazed out acid trip “FloriDada.” However, unlike their last album, “FloriDada” is actually about the antagonism towards Floridians by the outside world by conveying influences of Dadaism.
As band member Avery Tare described it, “I heard a radio show in L.A. and they started talking about how the name of the program was ‘What All the Dumb Things People Are Doing in Florida Right Now.’ I was just like, ‘That sucks.’ Why does everything have to be so negative? Why is everything so ‘I’m from the South, you’re from the North?’”
With such a well thought out single, it was expected that similar music would continue on “Painting With.” The answer was no. The album follows more in the direction of the exploratory “Centipede Hz” than the classic “Merriweather Post Pavilion.”
The rest of album continues in search for something, if anything as long as it sticks, even if it’s momentarily. Songs like “The Burglars,” “Bagels in Kiev” and “Spilling Guts” have all colorful and absurd psych-pop influences, but as each track progresses, the songs become more and more like white noise.
As bands age, their defined sound becomes their staple for new releases. Perhaps this is what Animal Collective wants, experimental music that is preferably combined with illegal substances that might or might not resonate with their fans. Unfortunately, “Painting With,” at least musically, remains in the same place that it did four years ago with “Centipede Hz” and that just might be good enough for Animal Collective.
Album: “Painting With”
Artist: Animal Collective
Release date: Feb. 19, 2016