Alive and kicking
The Dodos are an exciting new band that blend freak folk with latin influences and blues. Their debut ‘Visiter‘ sees the duo create often cacophanous and frenetic songs mostly from acoustic (sometimes slide) guitars, banjo, pounding percussion and occasional horns. It is a raw template that recalls, by turns, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Animal Collective (circa ‘Sung Tongs‘) and, more recently, The Ruby Suns. While texturally minimalistic, the songs are structurally expansive, shifting in and out of delicate balladry to rollicking jams.
The sing-song, nursery-rhyme melodies contrast with the wild percussive energy at the distinctive core of almost all The Dodos’ tracks. ‘Visiter‘ is rendered with an air of live spontaneity, a rawness and volatility emphasised by crazed backing vocals yelped from the back of the mix. The style stretches a little thin over the course of 14 tracks; momentum is notably lost on more throwaway efforts and inconsequential one minute doodles. But the rawness belies a more formalistic approach to songcraft that recalls the song-within-a-song dynamics of Grizzly Bear. A substantial debut then from an exciting new band with much to admire and enjoy; if you like this check out aforementioned artists, especially Grizzly Bear’s ‘Yellow House‘ and The Ruby Suns’ ‘Sea Lion‘.