Animal Collective frontman Avey Tare’s (Dave Portner) follow-up to the criminally underrated Down There is not a continuation of his introspective exploration of personal demons. Instead, Avey Tare brings along girlfriend/ex-Dirty Projector Angel Deradoorian and ex-Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman for a carnival ride through a ghost town. While Portner’s voice receives the same filtered swamp effect treatment that it did on Down There, the compositions and melodies on Slasher House are much more celebratory and uplifting. Lead track “A Sender” is a rambunctious start to a highly energetic album. The song is highlighted by the non-stop pounding of Hyman’s cymbals and toms. Deradoorian is barely visible albeit a few “yeah” backing vocals, but she’s not very present on the record on the whole either.
First single “Little Fang” is the most accessible and catchiest track with its slick bassline and playful lyrics. Deradoorian’s backup vocals here compliment Portner’s quite nicely. “The Outlaw” is a personal favorite and will be a gem in any Animal Collective fan’s catalog. Avey Tare has admitted in interviews that he wrote many of the songs for the album while struggling with throat issues during the most recent AC tour. Apparently, the cure for laryngitis is to write more songs that require you to shout your vocals, but we won’t complain if “The Outlaw” is the result of that canceled show we lamented about for weeks a year and half ago. “Strange Colores” is another highlight on Slasher House. Portner’s hyper lyrical delivery coupled with repetitive guitar riffs and a collage of bass and various layers of synth and unrecognizable sounds is mind-numbingly fun. Overall, Enter the Slasher House is a bloated palette of noise, melodies, and layered effects. There is a lot to ingest here without feeling overloaded, but it’s all worth savoring.