Dusted Reviews

Animal Collective - Grass

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Animal Collective

Album: Grass

Label: FatCat

Review date: Jun. 13, 2006

Animal Collective continues to play the role that the Residents used to fill before they got too slick for their own good. These songs are pop tunes from another planet, somehow extracting catchy nuggets from otherworldly combinations of sound, resulting in real songs taking shape from unexpected ingredients. They combine moments of experimental, melancholy sound with joyous outbreaks of sing-song in an entirely unique way. This special edition release of the Grass single packages three songs with a handful of videos on DVD.

The title song, from the Feels album, lays down glittering guitar over a rollicking beat, with a rousing chorus that you can’t help sing along to – if only you could figure out what the hell the words are. It's a stand-out song from Animal Collective, certainly, distilling both their appealing elements as well as the difficult aspects that may chase some away (their loss).

"Must Be TreeMan" feels like filler, tossed on to keep the EP from being too short. It's nice enough, all fluttering electronics and hovering tones, but is nonetheless a light bit of ambience that could have been done by anyone. The EP closes with "Fickle Cycle,” fast-moving yet gentle, with vocals chanted like a story-teller of olde. The drums clatter and the electronics murmur, buoying the singing above the proceedings. Once again, who knows what they're saying, but it somehow sounds pure and real.

The DVD includes four videos, including two for songs from the single. The visuals for "Grass" are built around colored drawings and solarized footage of the band members playing. Nice enough, but nothing overly special. As expected, the DVD includes the relatively well-known video for "Who Could Win a Rabbit,” one that I caught a few times on television. It's the best of the videos here, starring the happy little rabbit and turtle on bikes, both cute and disturbing even before it gets to the flesh-eating at the end. "Fickle Cycle" presents film of the band recording the song, intermixed with random footage of people acting strange; it comes off a bit too much like watching a home movie from strangers, and hence not as interesting as it might be if they were your friends. The last video, for "Lake Damage,” combines live performance with quietly surreal bits and pieces that together suit the eerie, atmospheric piece pretty well. Surprisingly, the videos lack the spark of Animal Collective’s songs, as if the band is't quite sure how to translate its unique sound into visuals.

By Mason Jones

Other Reviews of Animal Collective

Here Comes the Indian

Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished/Danse Manatee

Sung Tongs



Strawberry Jam

Water Curses

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Fall Be Kind

Centipede Hz

Read More

View all articles by Mason Jones

Find out more about FatCat

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.