Sunday, September 20, 2009


Time to Die-
The Dodos
Label-Frenchkiss Records
Status-Out as of 2009
3rd Studio Album
Rating-4 feathers

The Dodos have always been under the radar. Their first album went virtually unnoticed by the general public and the media, their sophomore album ‘Visiter’ gained them much deserved attention. Now The Dodos, a little over a year later and with new member Keaton Snyder on vibraphone, are back with their third album ‘Time To Die’. Perhaps this will give more sustenance to a band who is unfortunately known for a miller chill commercial.

The flow of ‘Time to Die’ corresponds with the transition from summer to autumn. The first half is embodied by bright guitar riffs and happy vocals. ‘Small Deaths’ starts off the album with heavy acoustic guitar and lightly intense vocals. The drumming might be a little to overpowering for the song, but it still helps to encase a summery feel. ‘Fables’ even furthers this tone. The acoustic guitar with a touch of vibraphone help lift Meric’s already optimistic vocals to an even higher lever. The whole song just puts you in a fantastic mood, and will leave you singing “I don’t wanna go in the fire” well after it’s over. They falter a little bit with ‘This is a Business’ which is a little too urgent. I mean, the craze in his voice adds a great effect, but the guitar seems way all over the place and the drumming is too frantic. They quickly restore themselves with ‘Two Medicines’, a song that gloriously encases all that is autumn. You can easily imagine yourself listening to the song’s galloping acoustic guitar and pounding drumbeat while walking down a leaf ridden sidewalk. It’ll make you instantly forget about summer and get you psyched for fall. ‘Troll Nacht’ and ‘Acorn Factory’ further this notion with uplifting vibraphones, twangy guitar lines, and somber vocals. The primitive drumming (like what was heard in Visiter) also makes a nice appearance, adding to each songs warmth. The titletrack ‘Time to Die’ ends the album a little weirdly. It starts out calmly, with just a light guitar and drums, but then it builds suddenly. When I say build I mean they just all of sudden pile on the guitar. It goes on like that for about four minutes, calms down just a bit, and then out of nowhere they end it.

As a whole, this album was very well done. It showed that The Dodos can build upon their old sound without succumbing to the third album syndrome, but still have it feel completely new, not like you’ve heard it before. Sure, the album doesn’t affect you mentally or emotionally like Visiter did, but it successfully helps get your mind around the fact that summer is over and autumn is coming. The Dodos have a lot to show, especially with a new member they will definitely create an even better version of their sound by album number four. It’s not their time to die quite yet.

“I’m glad that we were able to keep things simple on this record because when your band gets a little popular, there’s this tendency to say things like, ‘Let’s add an orchestra on this one!’ That works for some people, but it would detract from this band.”-Meric Long

Two Medicines

Recommendations: Fables, The Strums, Two Medicines
The Dodo's Official Website
NOTE: Yeah, I was supposed to have this out yesterday, but I have it out today so. I will have the review for The Resistance out within the next few days, but before Friday (I hope). On that note, who else is jazzed for fall?

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