On Avery Island

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On Avery Island
Studio album by Neutral Milk Hotel


March 26, 1996

Label (s) Merge Records

Format (s)


Genre (s)

Indie rock

Title (number)


running time




Robert Schneider

Everything Is EP
On Avery Island In the Airplane Over the Sea

On Avery Island is the debut album by the American band Neutral Milk Hotel . It was released on Merge Records in March 1996 . It was recorded by The Elephant 6 Recording Co. in 1995. However, the instrumental song Marching Theme is from March 1994.


The title of the album refers to Avery Island , a salt dome near the city of New Iberia in the US state of Louisiana . Avery Island is home to the headquarters of the McIlhenny company, the producers of the Tabasco sauce .

The British version of the CD has two bonus tracks: "Everything Is" and "Snow Song Pt. 1". Both come from the 1994 single Everything Is . The tracks were put on the album without Jeff Mangum's consent. On the vinyl edition of the album, the song "Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye" is only 3:28 minutes long. The British version also has a different cover with a drawing by Jill Carnes ( Thimble Circus ). Due to the ten-year birthday of the album, a re-release on Fire Records was announced for the summer of 2006 . Since then this announcement has been postponed again and again, until the beginning of 2008. Later that year, however, the album was re-released, again with the - this time authorized - bonus tracks from Everything Is .

Guest musician

On track 12, Merisa Bissinger, Hilarie Sidney, Dane Terry, Lisa Janssen, Aaron Reedy and Jeff Mangum play various Indonesian musical instruments.


Jason Ankery gives 4 out of 5 points to the record at allmusic and writes:

“Because of the slab, Jeff Mangum's wheels are always on the verge of taking off. His songs are cryptic and crazy, his ideas are fast and exciting and together they challenge the living room recording concept out of the basement and into a Brave New World . "

- Jason Ankery, Allmusic.

Daniel Good from Twisted Ear magazine awards 4.5 out of 5 points and writes in 2008:

“Mangum's art is to make music that people care about, so that people can identify with it. They keep them to themselves and share them with their best friends. After listening to the songs, Mangum is your best friend. That's his magic - and that's why we find it sad that he no longer produces music. All in all, On Avery Island is a solo album - excited, fuzzy and fragile. Profound, recurring poetry that drives the rickety vehicle. "

- Daniel Good, Twisted Ear, 2008

The album was ranked # 35 in the annual Village Voice Jazz & Pop Critics' Poll . Spin called this one of the top ten albums of 1996 that "You Didn't Hear".

Track list

All songs written by Jeff Mangum unless otherwise noted. Horn arrangements by Robert Schneider.

  1. "Song Against Sex" - 3:40
  2. "You've Passed" - 2:54
  3. "Someone Is Waiting" - 2:31
  4. "A Baby for Pree" - 1:21
  5. "Marching Theme" - 2:58
  6. "Where You'll Find Me Now" - 4:04
  7. "Avery Island / April 1st" (Jeff Mangum / Robert Schneider) - 1:48
  8. "Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone" - 3:14 am
  9. "Three Peaches" - 4:01
  10. "Naomi" - 4:53
  11. "April 8th" - 2:47
  12. "Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye" (Jeff Mangum / the whole band) - 13:49

Individual evidence

  1. Neutral Milk Hotel releases
  2. On Avery Island
  3. ^ Original English: Throughout the record, Jeff Mangum's wheels threaten to fly off at any time - his songs are cryptic and crazed, his ideas fast and furious, and together they force the home-recording concept out of the basement and into a brave new world.
  4. Archived copy ( Memento of March 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  5. In the original: Mangum's power is to make music that people care about - that they identify themselves with. They hold it close and share it with their best friends. After listening to his songs, Mangum is your best friend. That's his magic - and that's also why we feel sad without him making music anymore. Ultimately, On Avery Island is a solo album - shaky, fuzzy, and fragile, with profound circular poetics that ride the rickety vehicle for all its worth.
  6. Archived copy ( Memento of September 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )

Web links