Review snippets taken from Sean Barry’s review over at Consequence of Sound
Imagine a dune buggy. No, seriously. Imagine a dune buggy traversing the world. Picture it speeding over massive intercontinental bridges and splashing upon tropical island shores. Watch it cruise through technicolor city streets at night and do doughnuts in suburban cul-de-sacs at three o’clock in the afternoon. Now, imagine that along for this ride in the dune buggy are Panda Bear, Avey Tare, and Geologist of Animal Collective in the form of bobbleheads. Run this image through your head a few times, and you’ll get a pretty solid idea what their 10th album, Painting With, sounds like.
This image is ridiculous, of course, but with Animal Collective’s wonderful brand of art pop, that’s sort of the point. Painting With was inspired by post-modern art movements like Dadaism, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and taught its audience to look at the world differently through its outright silliness and undeniable simplicity. Where 2012’s Centipede Hz was a massive amalgamation of samples and vocal filters that overwhelmed listeners, Painting With relies on minimal beats and textures to become instantly familiar, comfortable, and fun from the get-go. In our interview with Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox), he expressed the band’s desire while recording to “do short songs — songs that felt primitive and crude.” In an interview with Pitchfork, Geologist (aka Brian Weitz) said that the band was “sort of returning to how [they] related to each other a long time ago,” and thankfully, they approach the joy and fearlessness of the early days. “FloriDada”, the album’s first single, has a primitive beat with roots that twist back somewhere near 2004’s Sung Tongs.