Monday, October 31, 2022

Brief Notes on Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks

There's four guys in Animal Collective. Each of those guys releases music under their own name. Two of those guys have other bands. All the music in the orbit of Animal Collective has the potential to be freaky but none of their output wears frightening! and horror! and spooky! and scary! on its sleeve quite like Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks.

The short-lived side project released one album, Enter the Slasher House, in 2014. Slasher Flicks was a three-piece including Dave "Avey Tare" Portner, Angel Deardoorian, and Jeremy Hyman (who would later go on to drum for Animal Collective during their tour of Painting With in 2016). As you can imagine, their 11 songs are concerned with the kind of moody tropes of classic low-budget murder movies. The inner sleeves on the LP jacket feature a masked-wearing clown holding a large knife.

As you can also imagine, their 11 songs are filtered through (at the time) Avey Tare's signature murky swamp sounds that heavily paint the sonic landscape of his 2010 solo debut Down There, which is a nightmare in its own right.

Don't let the name scare you, though, Slasher Flicks' music is fun. Their shows are about as close to punk as keyboard and synth freak music can go. I will fondly remember spring 2014 on the Animal Collective message boards looking for leaks, swapping live bootlegs, and eagerly awaiting the album's proper release.

Panda Bear is my go-to Animal Collective solo act, but I always enjoy revisiting Avey Tare around Halloween: whether its the serial killer licks of Slasher House or the muddy waters of Down There, its nice to listen to something a little slow, a little sticky, a little sinister. Tare's more recent output is a little more pastoral, and while I'm glad he's finding brighter soundscapes, its nice to listen a little wicked. Every now and then.

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