The Dodos – No Color

Band: The Dodos
Album: No Color

San Francisco’s The Dodos have released their fourth album, No Color, a return to form and a return to working with John Askew, with whom they recorded their first two albums. Fronted by Meric Long (vocals, guitar) with percussion from Logan Kroeber (drums), The Dodos have expanded their sound without changing their sound or adding a new member, as they had done with their previous album, Time to Die. Instead, the The Dodos stick to their usual 2-piece set up and grabs assistance on four tunes from The New PornographersNeko Case.

The percussion dominates the opening tune, “Black Night,” with swift and steady poly rhythms quickly grabbing hold of the listener’s attention. It’s already obvious within the first few lines that this album is worth listening to. The solid percussion work by Kroeber continues throughout the album. With Kroeber’s percussion skills paired with Long’s songwriting and soaring vocals, this duo really shines on No Color.

Songs like “Good” and “Don’t Try And Hide It” that feature Neko Case really break up the album well, adding a little variety and needed texture to the duo. However, Long’s vocals, which seem progressively ethereal throughout the album (“When Will You Go”, “Companions”), really complement Long’s electric work. The intricate guitar picking on “Companions” and “Don’t Stop,” the last two songs of the album, show that Long still has his skill on guitar in the bag.

Although their brand of acoustically dominated tunes has been dubbed frenzied folk, The Dodos also manage to sound tighter, with every riff, every beat resonating. Long has taken on much more electric guitar work, really elevating the frenetic energy of the whole album. They live up to their form with frequent tempo changes that keep the listener engaged. Every song is an absolute stunner, front to back, with a dynamism that is undeniable. In 9 songs, it’s clear that this is an excellent release and it should remain high on listeners’ best of lists by the end of 2011. I’ll count on it being on mine.

No Color has been released today, March 15, 2011, via Frenchkiss Records.


Categories: Recorded


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