This ain't no never-never land. This ain't no tweehouse fort. This ain't no Disney-go-round. But somewhere in the ether, savvy counselors at a cult day camp broadcast Sung Tongs over the PA during 'shrooms-and-cookies hour. Animal Collective's fuzzy-wuzzy instigators, Avey Tare and Panda Bear, sacrifice folk, cracked Beach Boys vinyl, Hawaiian skirts, tribalistic hoo-ha, and sanity in the service of what can be described only as childlike, brain-sprained madness. Every song is too extradimensionally magical, too beguilingly weird to accept as real -- you half-expect them to dissolve before your eyes like heat-induced illusions. "The Softest Voice" is a ten-mile-deep slog through a haunted, chime-studded, beaded curtain, and the barbershop quartet on "College" sounds like it's sliding into a vat of boiling oil. Then there's the suspended-animation vocal dreck of "Kids on Holiday," stuck in the amber behind a tweaked guitar motif, and the druggy, Donald Duck warble of "Whaddit I Done." The weirdness flows steadily between Tare and Bear and gets all over the listener's synapses. Delightfully, it can't be scrubbed out. -- Ray Cummings
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.