The Dodos

Individ

Polyvinyl

Jan 23, 2015 Issue #52 - January/February 2015 - St. Vincent Bookmark and Share


The Dodos have always been a pleasantly disarming mix of salty and sweet. Complex rhythmic ideas round out simple but creative melodic lines, which are in turn occasionally rounded out by an unexpected dissonance. Basic instrumentation expands to fill up vast amounts of space, both on the recordings and during their hypnotic live shows. Meric Long's vocals possess a calm, almost lazy, charm while Logan Kroeber's drumming declares itself with pointed accuracy. The end product is greater than the sum of its parts, though there's no mistaking that rhythm is the core of The Dodos' sound.

With Individ, the duo revives a raw, more kinetic spirit that references Visiter, their 2008 release, in small parts. However, aggressive wouldn't be the right word here. A reliance on distortion and electric guitar along with Long's vocal levels residing particularly close to the instrumentation impart an unusually consistent tone to most of the album.

Individ opens with a beaconing guitar and closes with a decisive percussive hit. The stuff in between is a bit less defined. Each song's construction contains elements that are uniquely Dodos, but the album feels muddy. Whether it's that the melodies are less adventurous or that no single element rises to the occasion, track after track reveals the album to be a moving wall of sound. The guitars aren't as playful against the vocals, the dynamics hold closer to the center, and the salty-sweet balance is tipping sweet.

Since it's still uniquely Dodos, Individ stands as a strong album. The dancing time signatures, the slightly unpredictable melodies, that noisy but accurate soundit's all there in measured doses. Yet the album is an understatement of those elements and presents itself as more of a deft meditation than a tour de force. (www.dodosmusic.net)

Author rating: 6.5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.