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New Music: The Dodos

By Liam Harrison, February 12 2015 —

The Dodos’ new album, Individ, has the admirable quality of sounding both different and similar t0 the band’s early material.

On Carrier, the band’s last album, the syncopated compositions of Chris Reimer — former Women guitarist and The Dodos’ touring member — replaced the manic, strum-happy sound of the band’s earlier work. In a way Individ is a return to The Dodos of old.

The opening track, “Precipitation,” is as rapid-fire as any early Dodos track, featuring finger-picked guitar and pounding tribal drums that skirt around slow musical climaxes. “The Tide,” meanwhile, features singer and guitarist Meric Long’s jazzy arpeggios at their most powerful and fuzzed-out.

Despite the powerful, kinetic energy at Individ’s root, the album returns to Carrier’s introspective nature in songs like the gorgeous “Darkness,” which builds gradually, erupting from Long’s poignant vocals into luscious droning guitar.

Lyrically and thematically the album is dowtempo, as the band discusses failed relationships and recovery.

Overall, the dynamic sound on Individ is a sign of The Dodos’ progression as artists. But not every aspect of the album is successful. “Pattern/Shadow” drags on for over seven minutes with a bleak and uninteresting refrain that does little to save this dirge. However, much of Individ’s dynamic range is memorable and despite some of its stylistic conservatism, the album is another success to The Dodos’ consistently strong catalog.



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