Rating: * * * *
The snap, crackle and pop jaunt of Animal Collective's song Summertime Clothes has the power to transport you to a treadmill located deep in the heart of the city. You'll find yourself running breathlessly on the spot as people stop and stare, or rush by, carrying on with their lives and not really caring that some random freak is running, running, running ...
Honestly, the spiralling, whimsical day dream of Animal Collective's eighth album is likely to have that effect on you. It's yet another noisy psychedelic folk pop journey from these four prolific Baltimore musicians who go by the names of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deakin.
Their playful astral pop is similar to Mercury Rev, only less sweet and mooshy. Plus, this challenging yet satisfying album is not likely to score them a support slot on a Coldplay tour as happened to Mercury Rev recently. There's a menacing off-kilter backdrop to the group's music but what makes it charming and appealing is their warped take on Beach Boys-style pop.
It opens with the flighty and chaotic In the Flowers; next up there's the relentless thud and twinkling interstellar sounds of My Girls (complete with excitable "Owwws"); and last track Brother Sport is a good old-fashioned, out of control musical round.
Merriweather Post Pavillion - aptly named after an outdoor music venue in Columbia, Maryland, because it would sound stunning outdoors or at an observatory - is enough to turn your brain to mush, yet funnily enough it's also intensely enjoyable.