Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks Live At The Masquerade
Like any good B-movie horror film, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks and their debut record Enter The Slasher House are fun. Yes, the stage is adorned with plastic skulls onto which psychedelic, otherworldly and haunting animation is projected. Yes, the band’s intial press photos featured them lounging in a pool of blood wearing masks, rain jackets ala Patrick Bateman and massive butchers knives ala a lot of movie killers. Yes, their Facebook describes Enter The Slasher House as “A group of Three hippies on a road trip through the backwaters of 2013s rural Music scene fall prey to a murderous cannibalistic Band”, but it’s all done in the name of good, clean, murderous fun, ya know?
David Portner aka Animal Collective’s Avey Tare was going through some rough things the last time he branched out on his own for a solo record, 2010’s dark and lonely-sounding Down There, including going through a divorce and dealing with his sister’s cancer of the tear ducts (his sister Abby is fine now and contributed the aforementioned otherworldly animation to this project). Enter The Slasher House found Portner relocated from NYC to Los Angeles and collaborating with ex-Dirty Projector (and current girlfriend) Angel Deradoorian and former Ponytail and Dan Deacon drummer Jeremy Hyman for an excellent batch of delightfully psychedelic songs that are as playful and intense as anything in Animal Collective’s recent output.
“Little Fang” official video:
Portner brought his marry band of cannibalistic musicians to Atlanta’s to a sold out Masquerade Music Park last week and watching the audience reaction Slasher Flick’s live performance of the songs on Slasher House was something to behold. The two main themes of enjoyment from the audience members seemed to be awed reverence at the distorted attack of melody coming from the stage and/or doing a “dance” I can only describe as the “Hey Let’s Joyously Dislocate Every Joint In Our Body Whilst In The Throws Of A Massive LSD Trip”.
Slasher Flicks were astoundingly on point, and stretched out the already hallucinatory songs masterfully. The band’s improvs were intense and as tight as they could possibly be while still evoking a feeling that everything could easy break down at any second. A “controlled burn” if you will. Hyman is a fucking beast on the drums and the whirlwind upon which Portner and Derdoorian’s melodies ascended. Songs like “Strange Colores” and “Duplex Trip” benefitted from Derdoorian’s jaunty playing and were fantastically spellbinding excursions down the rabbit hole. Enter The Slasher House‘s infectious lead single “Little Fang” was certainly a highlight and a song that positively brought the house down.
Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox played a DJ set to open the show and I was standing next to him during “Little Fang” when everyone went ape shit and watched a slow smile creep over his face. As someone who takes pride in giving people something to freak out about, he seemed to have genuine reverence for the fact that the audience seemed ready to go on their own joyous killing spree, should Avey Tare so desire it.
As if to reinforce the power of the mind-blowing set that Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks had just unleashed on the crowd, an incredibly spun young gentleman walked up to Cox after the show desperately clutching a sweaty handful of generic Mardi Gras beads as if they were the keys to heaven itself. “Here… I want you to have these”, the young man uttered with eyes as big saucers while he seemingly teetered on the precipice of LSD-induced insanity. After an evening spent in the Slasher House, it honestly didn’t seem that weird.
You can check out a stream of the entire Enter The Slasher House album, accompanied by equally psychedelic visuals created by Portner’s sister Abby right here.