The one constant of Animal Collective's nearly decade-and-a-half-long career is that the Baltimore-founded quartet has always lacked continuity. Until 2004's Sung Tongs, AnCo dealt almost exclusively in various strains of meandering, loosely organized noise — "Slippi," from 2003's Here Comes the Indian, was the only thing they'd done that actually resembled a song — slowly making a run at indie superstardom over the next few years that peaked with 2009's glorious psych masterpiece, Merriweather Post Pavilion. So there was a major break in tradition with last year's Centipede Hz, which was actually regressive in terms of its breadth — it didn't have the million-sounds-a-minute density of MPP — and of its commercial prospects, with no "My Girls"-level single. Enlisting lap steel for some tracks and a sample of reggae legend King Tubby's "Invasion" on another, the album defies definition with much concision — the ever-vague term "experimental rock" probably comes closest. Instead, it's simply a great, if challenging, record from a band that has delivered plenty of those. With Dan Deacon. 18+.
Mon., March 18, 7 p.m., 2013
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