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Howling with Mallman's werewolves of Minneapolis and other scary tales

 

Sorry, we don't take requests for "Stairway to Heaven," which doesn't sound quite right on clarinet: The Formerly Known
Daniel Corrigan
Sorry, we don't take requests for "Stairway to Heaven," which doesn't sound quite right on clarinet: The Formerly Known

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Animal Collective,Sung Tongs (Fat Cat) Animal Collective's endless-summer songs are faded from the winter, calling out from a Hawaiian postcard lost in an ice house. "This house is sad because he's gone," moans a ghostly, childlike voice on the first track, as tropical guitars repeat the same phrase over and over again. The Brooklyn group's stuttering lullabies refuse to move on--the looped melodies haunt you like half-remembered conversations until entire pop histories whisper within them. On "College," nonsense Beach Boys harmonies sigh beneath quicksand feedback. The squeaky guitar strings on "Winters Love" tweet like sunrise birds heard on the walk home from an all-night party. The hand claps and ecstatic wah-la chants on "Sweet Road" could have come from a distant school yard that no one can find. By the time the final track arrives, the lyrics have been so distorted by pedals and sequencers that you probably can't transcribe a single sentence from "Whaddit I Done." But the melody is so archetypal, you feel you know the words to these songs--as well as the words you can't find to describe them.

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