the dodos no color
  • FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

The latest product of alternative, indie-rockers, The Dodos, is their fourth studio album, No Color. The popularity of indie music has provided listeners with unfathomable amounts of experimental projects. Although many unique, sonic explorations continue to surface, we experience countless instances of imitation. The Dodos, however, exemplify musical innovation with their instrumentally alternative means of creating meticulously constructed tunes. The duo's second album, Visiter, was the earliest indicator of their investigative, instrumental techniques. Kroeber's speedy, percussive brilliance was highlighted throughout the album. In their third album, Time To Die, the group receded away from their prior brilliance. No Color, once again, provides listeners with The Dodos' extraordinary deviance from the norm.

At first glance (with your ears), No Color may trigger the, "Hey this sort of sounds like [insert band name here]," mentality. But as the album advances, the progressively distinctive features of The Dodos are quickly recognized. The reliance on Kroeber's percussive genius demonstrates the group's curiosity in West African music. Meric Long's speedy, acoustic picking has a personality all its own. The integration of the two provides every track with unfathomable depth that entices listeners' exploration.

The album's opening track, "Black Night", lures with Kroeber's powerful, marching beat. The simple pounding is complimented by Long's harpy guitar. His acoustic mastery is further displayed in "Good". The track opens with his banjo-esque, rapid picks and strums that grab listeners' attention, and Kroeber's quick flow around his kit's numerous toms detains their interest. The most notable track on the album is "Companions". The Dodos manage to highlight their vast musical talents without overpowering. They've apparently perfected that which they had attempted in the less eventful, Time To Die. While many tracks on No Color come off as a competition between two musicians, "Companions" (ironically titled?) possesses beautiful harmony. The track begins with an intricate Spanish acoustic, and percussion is gently introduced. The lack of force permits one to enjoy the complexities simultaneously. Additional delight is discovered in the five tracks that boast the assistance of Neko Case's (New Pornographers) vocals.

The Dodos display the vibrancy of their musical personalities as they jockey for dominance in No Color. Significant progress is recognized since Time To Die, but listeners are left with somewhat of an empty feeling when they are subconsciously forced to elect a superior band member.

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