Animal Collective | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Animal Collective

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At first Animal Collective's Here Comes the Indian (the first release from their own Paw-Tracks label, a sister to Carpark) sounds kind of dinky: anxious little snarls of noise, the pitter-patter of a hi-hat, gently warped strings, intermittent electronic sighs, muted twinkles, insect buzzing. But when you take the time to sit down and actually listen to the output of these four Brooklynites--Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deaken, all of them respected knob twiddlers--it becomes clear they have little concern for the rules governing quiet, tasteful music. Their tattered melodies have the unexpected strength of a spiderweb, ensnaring snippets of analog retching and tin-can shredding (and are those bongos?) and letting them rustle in the breeze of woodland-nymph whimsicality. And just when you're about to reach for the volume, you're chastened with a dazzling blast of psychedelic noise. They've toured with pals Black Dice--once throat-slittingly aggro, now as ethereal as anything this side of Enya--and I'm curious about how the two have rubbed off on each other. Both groups use surging digital delay to create their meditative fullness, sending layers of moans and mechanical purrs echoing down a mountainside; but Black Dice is more about finding comfort in chaos, while Animal Collective's deal seems to be finding chaos in comfort. Sunday, August 3, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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