The Dodos – Visiter

The Dodos – Visiter / 2008 Frenchkiss / 14 Tracks / http://www.dodosmusic.net / http://www.frenchkissrecords.com /

The Dodos were formally known as Dodo Bird, and signed to Frenchkiss Records a few months ago. “Visiter” is their first album for Frenchkiss, and the disc starts off with “Walking”. “Walking” has a folk backdrop to the instrumentation, while the vocals take a slightly different tack in their alternative grounding. The linking of the two sets of vocals during the chorus brings things back to the folk sound of the instrumentation. What results, even when The Dodos embrace an older style of music, is something shining and new. The music may have a 1968 grounding, but the overall aura of The Dodos is 2008. “Red and Purple” shows that The Dodos have the ability to craft intriguing instrumental arrangements that can skirt the line between organic and inorganic, while the vocals insert an added bit of emotion to the mix.

The twinkling sound that operates at the periphery of the track is the last flourish that the track needs; the band has again succeeded in creating interesting and compelling music. The production value of “Visiter” is interesting. There is a tremendous amount of distortion present in the bassier / more percussive parts of the band, and while individuals may tend to call this “lo-fi”, I feel as if the production helps create an atmosphere that is unique to “Visiter”. “Joe’s Waltz” is a meandering track that needs little more than a guitar to establish a canvas for the band to release their energies on. The drums follow along tightly, while the wistful vocals imbue the track with the melody it needs.

The band has only been releasing music since March of 2006, but “Visiter” is a coherent and impressive effort by these relative newcomers. There is nothing resembling a crossover hit, no “1234” for fans to rally behind, but the entirety of the disc is one of the more impressive to come out during 2008. Of particular note during “Visiter” is “Winter”. This track starts with pure instrumentation, as does a number of songs on the album, but the vocals will rattle around listener’s heads for weeks to come. The vocals during this track remind me of a Beck crossed with Dick Dale; the two strains of music are varied further when the dissonant horns start up. The Dodos come forth with a masterful work; any one of these 14 tracks will easily get individuals focused into what the band still has in store for listeners.

Top Tracks: Jodi, Ashley

Rating: 7.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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