As the mixed reviews for last year’s Painting With album suggested, a little goes a long way with Animal Collective. Which makes The Painters, a four-track EP of outtakes from the same sessions, possibly the perfect Animal Collective release.
What sets The Painters apart is its concision, clocking in at just 13 minutes. Usually, Avey, Panda, (Deak,) and Geo are unafraid to let their songs extend into infinity. Here, hooks are paramount.
Animal Collective exchange the watery ambience and noisy abrasion that coloured past successful albums for drier and more present percussion, shorter and more immediate songs, and a new fascination with hocketing vocals.
While it’s a reasonably compelling elaboration on its predecessor’s synth-splattering aesthetic, it’s unlikely to change anyone’s mind about this version of the group’s sound.