It started with blurt of guitar squall and a burst of drums without so much as an introduction. Thus began the first-ever show of Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, a trio comprised of Animal Collective's Dave Portner (a.k.a. Avey Tare), former Dirty Projectors singer Angel Deradoorian, and former Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman. With Hyman's ferocious drumming, Deradoorian manning two keyboards and adding backing vocals, and Portner's swirling, sometimes-mechanical-sounding guitars and spacey vocals of his own, the new songs debuted at Metro Gallery last night felt much denser than the tracks on Avey Tare's 2010 solo effort
(they did play a reworked version of "Oliver Twist" from that album and Hyman's percussion added energy and depth) and a bit more manic than Animal Collective's more recent pop friendly efforts. Still, if there's a recurring theme from Portner's songwriting in recent years, it's that underneath the layers noise and effects are plenty of terrific melodies, and that was no different here. Last night's set had plenty of sudden time changes, alien/robotic vocal trickery, and tonal tweaking, but the pop sensible underpinnings hit all the right sweet spots. You can see for yourself in these two videos below. The top one is shot by Nicky Smith, son of
founder Russ Smith.