"No Mans Land" and accompanying EP are killer, Panda Bear's most solid release since Person Pitch.
Timothy Gabriele: Animal Collective’s Centipede Hz was a bit unfairly maligned. Production-wise, the album was possessed of a unique artistry that still sounds unlike everything else. The first few songs rival anything the band ever did, but the best tracks completely frontloaded the album. “No Man’s Land” sounds the closest to Centipede Hz’s singular dynamic that I’ve heard from any of the band members since that album’s release, but it sounds like a drifting, irresolute B-side that got cut from the album’s back end. The densely layered creaking fourth world squeals and hypnotic rhythms possess multitudes that you could fall into, but the vocal feels at best half-hearted. If you’re looking for bonus Panda Bear material, you’d be better off checking Danny L. Harle’s remix of “Come to Your Senses”. It’s one of the best things released in 2015. [6/10]
Casey Hardmeyer: For whatever reason, Animal Collective always deliver really solid EPs. There was Grass, Water Curses (still my favorite AC release), Fall Be Kind and now Panda Bear's got his own EP Crosswords, which does more than enough to continue the streak of quality extended players. "No Mans Land" is one of the standouts, sound like Paul Simon on salvia singing over some nasty techno riff. Pretty awesome. The other four tracks on the EP are all very good, begging the question: why didn't we get to hear these on Grim Reaper?? The four new originals are easily better than tracks like "Lonely Wanderer" or "Tropic of Cancer", which I though weighed down what was already a pretty hazy slog of an album. No bother though, this track and accompanying EP are killer, Panda Bear's most solid release since Person Pitch IMO. [8/10]
Eric Risch: A medley of Howard Jones’ greatest hits mixed with Indian flavors in a Cuisinart, “No Mans [sic] Land” is the hipster soundtrack to the Himalaya ride at this year’s county fair. [2/10]