Listeners should prepare to shed any two man expectations when taking stock in the hollow body sweat and bombastic stomp that is the Dodo's sophomore release, Visiter (Frenchkiss). Familiar touchstones like The Black Keys, The Kills, and The White Stripes just can't provide a proper framework in which to consider guitarist/vocalist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber's best of '08 kind of release.
Lickity split guitar work, fractured sticks exploding across the drum rims, beefy, multi-tom percussive rhythms, and tenor-tinged vocals cycling melody after memorable melody: the parts and parcels at work throughout Visiter are enough to cloak the Dodo's in their own unique ilk. On "Joe's Waltz", Long's rusty, acoustic twang twists and tangles with Kroeber's primitive pounce on a handful of bottom dwelling drums. The result is a rich, hypnotic sort of swing...one further aided by wet vocal layering and warm bits of swirling tremolo. It all adds up to an opiate feel and unexpected depth...though that's quickly laid to rest by a foot stomping, triplet induced tussle that shakes this waltz into an inebriated hootenanny of sorts.
So go the Dodos, immersing themselves whole heartedly into their delicious, psycho-folk groove. Like "Joe's Waltz" before it, Long and Kroeber sound at their best during the introspective guitar parts of "Park Song", and glassy swells of "The Season". Other absolute highlights include the single worthy standout "Fools" and the erratic, six-minute-plus romp that is "Jody". Providing the most offbeat moment of the album, "It's That Time Again" plays the part of a dirgey, drinking song, complete with tremendous percussive wallops queuing the listeners when to raise their glasses in honor of Long's defiant lyrics ("It's that time again. You want to leave me so I keep you home.").
All and all, Long and Krober's sonic palette makes for a more robust effort than many of their fellow, two-man compatriots. There's no compensation...no cranking it to oblivion in wake of their skimpy lineup. Instead, the Dodos rely on steady force rhythms, fire breathing guitar picking, and the kind of pop melodies that could snag a listener from ten miles off. - David Pitz