Animal Collective - Hollinndagain
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Originally released in a limited run of 300 hand-painted LPs back in 2002, Hollinndagain is a release that documents a batch of live recordings by the group from their tour during the first half of 2001. The incarnation of the group at the time was Avery Tare, Panda Bear, and Geologist, and their sound on the recording (which definitely leans to the more experimental side) calls to mind the recording done around the same time period (which was Danse Manatee). At the time, the group was playing largely improvised shows, so most of these songs have never seen the light of day on actual releases until now (unless you wanted to plop down some serious money on ebay).

I've been a huge fan of Animal Collective for several years now (moreso as they've veered into even more poppy territory on their most recent albums), and for the most part Hollinndagain sounds like a release that will mainly appeal to completists of the group rather than casual fans. Seven tracks mostly take their time in developing, and while there are certainly some inspired moments, there's also a lot of flat-out aimless noodling. The second track of "Pride And Fight" finds a nice angle mixing electronics, some sparse percussion, guitars, and vocals into something that reminds one of an amplified version of their great Campfire Songs release, but for every outstanding moment, there's an equally unfocused one.

"Forest Gospel" delivers some insane drum and vocals freakouts that alternate with more quiet passages, but then tracks like "There's An Arrow" and "Lablakely Dress" take a bit of wind out of the sails, with completely underdeveloped electronics and vocal freakouts that sound like perhaps the beginning ideas of something decent, but never really go much of anywhere. As mentioned above, this is an Animal Collective release that's mainly for the hardcore fans. Others will probably want to wait until their next studio effort.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2006-11-02 20:24:40