The original “Zero” is on the better side of mediocre, but could probably be improved if Karen Orgasm’d out her mouth – and the guitars screeched – just a little more. Same goes for the rest of the It’s Blitz album; at first I was disappointed to discover that, yet again, Karen’s vocal energy did not live up to my Fever to Tell expectations, but I later decided to pretend that It’s Blitz was a Yeah Yeah Yeahs “electro-rock side-project,” and the album suddenly became far more enjoyable.
With that being said, there is definitely some room for improvement on It’s Blitz, and I think everyone was hoping that Animal Collective could step/mix it up. It’s obvious that the likelihood of Animal Collective increasing the raw punkness of “Zero” is, well… slim. Instead, we expect Animal Collective to tear the track inside out, and create something entirely new – with samples and loops, a few bizarre noises, and a unique melody.
So what did Animal Collective do? Well, I suppose they did tear the track inside out, and create something new, with samples and loops, a few bizarre noises, and (sort of?) a unique melody – but perhaps not to the effect that I was hoping for.
Instead, it sounds like – to quote Pitchfork, because they were bang on in their brief description – that Animal Collective turned “Zero” into a “slow, trippy, and kinda dank” song, “like the tune has been dragged into an underground cave.” And it only makes sense that, after their winter in the spotlight, the band would want to retreat underground; alas, there appear to be no effective cave dwelling creatures in the Animal Collective, and thus their “Zero” remix gets sort of lost in the dark.
Honestly, I want to say that I love this song – and I’ve been trying to – but it’s just not that amazing. However, after repeated listens the song’s deeply spelunking nature has actually grown on me, so I’m not ready to dismiss it just yet. Rather, I’m considering this remix a panda bear’s step into a cave best fit for a bat; a step that may not be worth a picture on your wall, but one that is probably worth a JPEG on your hard-drive.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Zero” (Animal Collective remix)