It’s surprising to discover that The Dodos have been around for a decade, having formed in 2005. It almost seems like yesterday they were mesmerizing audiences with their percussion-focused, rhythmic indie rock. In some ways, it was “yesterday”, as the duo began to gain notoriety with 2009’s Time to Kill and experienced a bigger breakthrough in 2011 with No Color, which included a guest performance by Neko Case.
In the decade that Meric Long and Logan Kroeber have been together as a band, they’ve expanded their sound and approach, adding more harmonies and including new instruments to create a deeper, more layered sound. Their “experimentation” has been an overall success. With their sixth full-length album, Individ, set to be released on Tuesday on Polyvinyl Records, can we expect more of the same, something completely different, or something that would fit with the continued evolution of the band? Our writers give their First Impressions.
After hearing The Dodos new singles “Competition” and “Retriever” leading up to their album release, I had a really good feeling about their new album Individ. Now after listening to Individ in its entirety, I believe my expectations might actually have been exceeded. The first track “Precipitation” completely sets the tone with it’s highs and lows throughout until it comes in full force a little more than halfway through with powerful guitar and drum beats. This is a very solid album from beginning to end. Other notable tracks for me are “The Tide”, “Retriever”, and “Pattern/Shadow”, which is almost 2 songs in one coming in at over 7 minutes. All in all, Individ is one of those albums you keep going back to and can listen to all the way through. The Dodos are now at the top of my list to see live at this year’s SXSW festival. This is an enthusiastic thumbs up for me and really my only gripe is that I could have used one more song.
Going into Individ I wasn’t very familiar with the Dodos’ music, I’ve listened to them in the past, but for some reason I wasn’t ever really hooked. Though listening to the incredible drumming and perfectly distorted guitar on Individ has drawn me in completely. There’s a great energy throughout the record right from the onset. I was hooked from the beginning of “The Tide” and just enjoyed the ride throughout. I love the drum intro on “Competition”, and it’s even better when the guitar kicks in. My favorite track, though is “Retriever” which is one of the most badass tracks I think I’ve heard so far in this young year. An enthusiastic thumbs up from me, if you need me I’ll be diving deeper into the Dodos’ discography.
Well damn, 2015 is off to an amazing start. The Dodos’ brand of indie rock hits all the right notes for me. I’m a sucker for heavy percussions and ample guitar and was looking forward to the release of Individ. I thought “Precipitation” was a great opener, but it was “The Tide” that really got me grooving on this one. Then the album really hits its stride with standouts like “Competition” and “Goodbyes and Endings”. My only complaint is the same one i have for most solid nine track albums, giving me one more song to make it a full 10 track LP. This is an strong thumbs up for me.
I’ve long gravitated to the percussion-based music of The Dodos. Live, it is almost a spiritual experience hearing the drums pounding in the foreground. On Individ, that live experience is captured, possibly better than any of their previous albums other than No Color. “Precipitation” and “The Tide” are like the opening acts – wistfully reeling you in and then suddenly blowing your mind as each songs reaches its crescendo. The main act is highlighted by the soaring “Competition”, the shimmering “Goodbyes and Endings”, the edgy “Retriever”, and the epic “Pattern/Shadow”. Individ is a terrific, exciting album. And like a great show, it’ll have you giving a standing ovation. An enthusiastic thumbs up from me.
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