Album Review: The Dodos – Individ

The Dodos – IndividPRC-284LP-COVERART_HIres
Review by Thomas Orlando

Rating: 7.5/10

If you’re not familiar with the Dodos there are some basic need to know about them. Firstly, it’s a duo which means the uneducated masses will compare them to other Indie Duos. They have a fresh sound and flesh out a lot of their tracks, they aren’t lazy song writers, and they have a more focused sound than other duos (Step it up Black Keys). Another thing is that there style is a mix of acoustic guitars, vibraphone, drums spouting all sorts of intricate rhythms and fills with the occasional tambourine or other rhythm instrument. Simply put, The Dodos make folk inspired rock music that kicks ass, and they’ve done it for over 9 years with this being their 6th full length album.

What separates this album from the rest of their albums is an almost tribal sense to it; songs which could be played softly (like their last album) are brutal and raw and have this sort of warmness to them. Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t going to make your ears bleed, but it’s not going to put you to sleep either. The first song “Precipitation” is a mantra for the rest of the album (and maybe the Dodos as a whole). The song fades into existence with a meandering riff, then the grooving drums add on and eventually Meric Long’s vocals bleed into the mix with his lyrics coming off as a matter of fact. The song just sits in this building phase until halfway through the impending “storm” precipitates with a cloudburst of rhythms and a beastly guitar riff that makes the song have a life to it. Only a couple bands can make essentially 2 main instruments sound so massive and welcoming. It may not be as technical or experimental as their peers (Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes), but songs like Precipitation are just cordial in their sound, very inviting for any mood. “The Tide” and “Competition” have enormous sounding hammering drums (for folk rock), similar to the opening track, that push the sound forward and allow the song to be both fierce and at the same time have melancholy and tranquil feel to them.

The album still has tracks that leave more to be desired and sometimes the Dodos sound can linger on itself and just seem like a parody of the song before. However, the album does have some coherence and has an overall feeling of revitalization, especially as it is the sequel to the somber Carrier which was a sort of tribute to deceased guitarist Christopher Reimer who was part of the band “Women” before he joined the Dodos. “Individ” is something of a mystery to me, I can’t wrap my mind what this album represents, but nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable journey for your ears.

Focus Tracks- 2.The Tide, 1. Precipitation, 4. Competition, 7. Retriever,

Sounds like:  Grizzly Bear, Yellow Ostrich, Local Natives, and Fleet Foxes

About the author