Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks - Enter The Slasher House

It’s hard to pinpoint but at the same time makes perfect sense.

Label: Domino

Rating:

Most of the time, if the co-founder of a highly beloved band with a mighty catalogue of nine studio albums forms a ‘jazz power trio’ named Slasher Flicks, it’s a bit of a surprise - to put it very mildly. It’s normally a fair reaction to at least consider the possibility that they wandered into a horror movie convention, ate a few too many space cakes, and turned a bit loopy. In the world of Animal Collective’s Avey Tare, where avant-garde equals normality, it’s the most natural progression imaginable. Enlisting Jeremy Hyman of Ponytail fame, as well as experimental solo artist and Dirty Projectors associate Angel Deradoorian, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks already reads like a dream cast list.
 
‘Enter The Slasher House’ might sound like something that should be painted above the entrance to a creepy, twisted fun-house complete with those horrible puppets with chattering hinged jaws, but really, the only Clockwork Orange ultra violence comes from Slasher Flicks’ relentless attack of melody. Less anxiety-wrought than Avey Tare’s 2010 solo album ‘Down There’, but just as urgent, ‘Enter The Slasher House’ possesses a similar kind of twisted pop sensibility to Animal Collective’s ‘Feels’, combined with the percussive force of ‘Strawberry Jam’. It’s as groove-driven as ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ but less doped up and submerged; like a tactile ‘Centipede Hz.’ that doesn’t want to bash your ears off with chainsaw static. ‘Enter The Slasher House’ is hard to pinpoint but at the same time it makes perfect sense. It scoops up all of Avey Tare’s consistently experimental songwriting and lets every component run amok in a crazy circus of his own design. With the help of Deradoorian and Hyman, David Portner’s vision comes to life, with a wonderfully in-your-face pop gaudiness we’ve never heard before from Avey Tare’s previous side-projects.
 
Avey Tare does seem like the ringleader of this record, and he’s at the forefront everywhere; from the implied ownership suggested in the band’s name to those unmistakable bubbling vocals and abrasive guitars. His swampy oddball pop shapes the entire aesthetic, and it sounds divinely addictive. Portner has an incredible knack for crafting gargling samples and dense impenetrable lyrics together into something that seems solid and tangible, and his latest project, Slasher Flicks is no exception. Avant-garde is only ever fun when it seems somehow human, and ‘Enter The Slasher House’ captures that engaging essence. It’s a hall of mirrors with a thousand different possibilities. This delight of an album might bend and warp reality, but it’s also a rare gem because underneath all of its trickery it still projects back a reflection of something completely grounded.