In direct contrast to, say, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective thrives on being inexact, and to come so close to re-creating the formula nonetheless is impressive.
Centipede Hz is not half as catchy; nothing resembles “Summertime Clothes” or “My Girls,” save for “Applesauce.” What you’ve got instead are nearly a dozen jarring pop songs that split somewhere between your head and your hips.
Opener “Moonjock” is punchy, followed by the exotic and accessible “Today’s Supernatural.” This go-round, however, the most rewarding moments are in the downright freaky anthems, like “Wide Eyed” and “New Town Burnout,” in all their tweaked and twitchy glory.
Merriweather took Animal Collective out of the art house and into arenas, and Centipede HZ sounds as overwhelmed and awed as the group must have been in making that adjustment. —Joshua Boydston