AOTY 2021

On Avery Island

Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
1996 Ratings: #40 / 65
User Score
Based on 471 ratings
1996 Ratings: #71
Liked by 23 people
March 26, 1996 / Release Date
LP / Format
Merge / Label
Robert Schneider / Producer
Indie Rock / Genres
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Post-psychedelic, post-folk, post-grunge, post pretty much everything, think Butthole Surfers if they’d grown up listening to nothing but Four Volts. More fuzz than a teddy bear and 10 times cooler to leave lying about when Sarah from philosophy is coming round.

On Avery Island is a theme park plopped down on a city: It rushes the fantastical into the everyday, conjuring the weird sensation of getting knocked loose from a rut into the intoxicating unknown of what’s still to come.


On Avery Island, is an inscrutable concept album, a chronicle of an insular world told in a remarkably universal language. A fuzzy masterpiece of experimental lo-fi recording, the album wraps its ragged pop songs in ribbons of loops, marching-band squawks, and Casio noodling.

The Skinny

On Avery Island is a rare and welcome opportunity to explore their raw brilliance, pre-Anne Frank.

The Guardian
You can hear Mangum groping towards the realisation of his vision on the likes of Song Against Sex or A Baby for Pree, but never quite finding it. And, truth be told, you're unlikely to be revisiting the 14-minute wig-out Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye too often.

If you're a Neutral Milk Hotel fan who's never heard this album before, you're in for a surprise. Unfortunately this surprise is based around the gradual discovery that On Avery Island isn't actually all that good.

minus 6 points for not having me in the album cover.
jk it's because Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye sucks ass. Everything else is brilliant obviously.
Its greatest flaw is that it isn't Aeroplane.
1000-е ревью!!!!!

Дебютное, незамеченное многими произведение Neutral Milk Hotel является прелюдией к их знаменательному последующему альбому. Но мало кто согласится, что "On Avery Island" — лучшее, что творил Джефф Мангум в группе.

Когда говорят о Neutral Milk Hotel, чаще всего вспоминают их ... read more
On Avery Island is the debut album by legendary (?) Indie Rock band, Neutral Milk Hotel that I used to confuse with Car Seat Headrest for a reason I still can't comprehend, in 1996, two years before their magnum opus, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, in 1998.

The similarities between On Avery Island and In The Aeroplane Over The Sea are clear as day, but the second one (ITAOTS) is more polished, conceptually and sound-wise. ITAOTS' themes inspired by Anne Frank's story and WWE II in general is ... read more
Why is this cover so creepy. Seriously giving me some cursed image vibes. And I can't tell if my headphones are scuffed or the music just sounds like that. I liked it quite a bit. It dragged a bit in the middle, but it still remains an extremely solid project. I feel it's a bit overrated though 🛺
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Contributions By
royalflush, patton, parent, Muratka, domvic
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Track List

  1. Song Against Sex
  2. You've Passed
  3. Someone Is Waiting
  4. A Baby for Pree
  5. Marching Theme
  6. Where You'll Find Me Now
  7. Avery Island / April 1st 
  8. Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone 
  9. Three Peaches
  10. Naomi 
  11. April 8th
  12. Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye

Added on: April 8, 2013