Thursday, February 26, 2009


The Dodos
Label-French Kiss Records
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4.5 Feathers

Getting their title Visiter from a drawing given to them by an elementary school class, The Dodos come out with their second album. Hailing from California, this duo, comprised of vocalist/guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber, have combined folk with primitive drumming to create a sound undeniably theirs that they’d never thought would ‘speak’ to the masses. ‘Walking’ is a very calm, confident beginning. It sets the mood, though the banjo used sounds a little out of place. It then walks smoothly into ‘Red and Purple’. The song is so perfectly arranged: if they weren’t playing it all together at the same time when they recorded it, I’d be amazed. The drums are brilliant and the toy piano fits in perfectly. It really is a truly well put together, lovely song. ‘Eyelids’ is a pretty good, nicely primitive filler. ‘Fools’ is my personal favorite. The drums suck you in immediately. The instrument bit between verses, with the frantic guitar and trombone, is a perfect touch that couldn’t be any better coordinated. The line ‘til we’re tired and we’re crazed in the mind’ followed by someone yelling like they’ve gone insane is great, very clever effect. ‘Joe’s Waltz’ starts with a nice quiet beginning. They part where he sings ‘on and on’ is very reminiscent of a soft Beatles song. When the song changes half way through, it’s enough to send shivers down your spine. They effect of them sounding as if they’ve lost their minds is amazingly perfect. ‘Winter’ is a very sweet sounding song. The horn section really helps with the general mood. However, for some reason, the lyrics have a hint of creepy creating a whiff of uneasiness, which to me is odd. ‘It’s That Time Again’ is another nicely simple song. The lyrics are pretty funny (to me), especially since their voices all sound like an all boys high-school chorus. ‘Paint the Rust’ isn’t anything that special, but the guitar and vocal pattern sound nice together and his voice sounds cool when he runs it through a filter. ‘Park Song’ sounds like a folk song with an urban twist. It’s very different from the other songs, which allots for a pleasant surprise. ‘Jodi’ is my least favorite song from the album. The drums at the beginning sound constipated and a little stupid, and the guitar sounds equally as uncomfortable. The vocals are the only thing that really save it. If I were Jodi, I’d be jealous of ‘Ashley’ because she gets a nice song. Though it’s a little less ‘upbeat’, it a very moving song. It’s calm and lovely, but the part where they say ‘Ashley’ in a falsetto-y way is pretty creepy. ‘The Season’ is a very poignant sound, and an obscure drum beat, which about half way through turns into a sort of desperation with Meric sounding as though he’s pouring his heart out to our ears. After he’s calmed down, ‘Undeclared’ starts up. It’s a little kiddie sounding. I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell if that’s a girl singing or Meric just singing in really high falsetto: either way it’s a little childish and kinda bizarre. ‘God?’ is a very fine close to such a fantastic album. It’s another soft song, but it really makes me cry. It’s so beautiful, and the fact that the song is about ‘oh God where’d you go?’ is very desperately glum. This is especially seen when after the second chorus, the person in the background sounds like he’s lost all hope when he calls out saying ‘God? God?’. Oh man, I’m tearing up as I’m writing. As you can see, this album was a work of genius. I have to say, when something moves you as much as Visiter has, you know it’s going to go places and one can easily see why this became as infectious as it is. They can only go up from here, and they are definitely worth the visit.
"I mean everything's corrupting it. Just loud rock music-I feel like there's a tendency playing live shows and stuff. The more you do it, the more you want to be like 'fuck it', and strap on an electric."-Meric Long

Video for Fools

Recommendations: Red and Purple, Fools, Joe's Waltz, God?
The Dodos Myspace
The Dodos Official Website
Note: Sorry for the severe lack of postage, I took a holiday from the blog, and I'm back with what I've promised. I'm so irritated that I only heard of The Dodos at the end of the year. I'll be doing Origin of Symmetry by Muse next and maybe a single or two between then so keep reading. Also, I took the following thingie off my page because the new format thing they did to it looked ugly to me, but I'd love for anyone to follow anyhow. Thank you!


Ian France said...

These guys are amazing! I'm so glad you're writing so many excellent reviews like this so I can discover so many awesome new groups.

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: My job is to inform, and I'm glad you like it so much! My problem is I catch on to/get wind of things way after they were popular/came out/or everyone else was just discovering them. I would strongly suggest listening to them though, they are something!

Lily Hydrangea said...

There is always someone who hasn't heard of the latest greatest. Don't think for a minute this band wouldn't love to hear they are still creating more buzz.
After reading your intriguing review, I was happy you had a video so I could hear them play. I like them. This song reminds me of The Who's Magic Bus in some ways. Nice job.

Double Hawk said...

Lily: They really are great. I think it's the drums that make it sound like Magic Bus, good call! My idea is that I put a video of a song from the album so that people can right their see what they really sound like. Glad you liked it!