Painting With ( Domino)
In 2012, the members of Animal Collective — one of the most influential indie-rock bands of the 2000s — found themselves facing something they were unaccustomed to: a disappointed fanbase. After gradually adding new layers to their bass- and- Beach- Boys, childlike psychedelia for a decade, they overstuffed Centipede Hz — a fine, if slightly formless, album that had the misfortune of following the band’s masterpiece, 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. Perhaps as a result, they play it safe on Painting With, their first album that finds them retreading familiar ground. Opening track “FloriDada” harks back to the campfire- on-acid vibe of their early work, while “Spilling Guts” finds them pounding what sounds like a harpsichord like the bass in the big tent at an EDM festival. At times, this can make Painting With sound like a record by one of their (many) imitators, if it weren’t for their superb singing — lead vocalists Avey Tare and Panda Bear braid complex melodies around each other, occasionally f lowing together on near-perfect harmonies. “Golden Gal” blends this with a sample from TV’s The Golden Girls and a showtune-like melody. The one type of Animal Collective song that is sadly missing is the extended jam; instead, this is a tight pop album full of immediate pleasures, seemingly designed to gain new fans — or to win back old ones.