You know that feeling when a special band comes along. The kind of band who do things a little bit differently and travel to places seldom travelled by other musicians. The Dodos are one such band; their silly name does an injustice to the incredibly clever things they do with music, and on 'Individ', their sixth LP, it's business as usual.
The album kicks off with 'Precipitation', a slow building introduction that acts as an overture to 'Individ''s main musical themes. You get atmospheric waves of e-bow guitar, jumpy, staccato rhythms and a lackadaisical, laid back vocal approach. About halfway through, the noisy, clattering tension breaks into a post-Sonic Youth melodic instrumental section. It feels simple and airy, but there's plenty going on here. It is a fascinating racket for just two blokes to be making.
'Individ' sounds like nobody else out there. You get the almost skiffle drums underlaying the melancholy indie pop of 'The Tide' and you get the high paced alternative country flavours of 'Competition', which comes off a little like Kurt Vile. Where The Dodos really come into their own, however, is when they are playing around with brain twisting rhythms and counter rhythms interlocking and dancing around each other. This is shown to best effect on 'Goodbyes and Endings' which fidgets around while also somehow coming across as an indie anthem. Its huge guitar hooks trade places with the vocals to create an interesting set of textures. The album's final track also showcases their rhythmic complexity, in a sinister seven minute salvo. It feels simplistic, but there are so many layers of sound, subtly built on top of each other. It bears repeated listens.
The Dodos have yet again crafted a deeply imaginative album full of weird little avenues to explore. It is clever and experimental without being supercilious and it remains a lot of good fun. If anything, sometimes the guitar riffs become a little similar to each other, but all in all, 'Individ' is an accomplished body of work. It is astonishing that all this noise is being made by just two chaps.
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