Monday, April 14, 2008

Review: The Dodos - Visiter

When I first saw the cover of The Dodos’ Visiter on the front page of Pitchfork, I dismissed it, guessing that it would be crappy electronica or spastic noise music. Fortunately, my friend John suggested I give it a try, and I discovered that I was completely wrong.

Visiter is the kind of record that sounds like it was concocted in basements and apartment living rooms, the musicians adding subtle nuances each time they rehearse. I can imagine the (incredible) drummer practicing his parts over and over again to make them more unique, intricate, and also useful. The drums and the guitar weave in and out and then strike in unison at just the right times.

Perhaps the best thing about Visister is that there are only two principle instruments used: the acoustic guitar and drum set. The guitarist (I think his name is Meric) is really great. He switches from furious strumming to confident fingerpicking without batting a lash, and tailors the vocals to compliment it all. Still, the beauty is in the simplicity.

The Dodos’ sound is difficult to describe. It is unlike most acoustic guitar-centered indie music that comes out these days. Forget Iron & Wine or Owen. I have heard Visiter described as psychedelic-pop that is in touch with Animal Collective’s sensibilities. I do not hear psychedelic so much, but I definitely can hear hints of Panda Bear’s drumming on Visiter. The Dodos one-up Animal Collective in vocal execution (and nearly everywhere else). Listening to Visiter is like listening to your friends play music for you. Each melody is deeply personal, a testament to the craft. Did I mention that this record sounds loud? Because it does. This is not meek Dashboard Confessional bullshit. Get this record if you like great drumming, acoustic guitar, lo-fi production, cohesive records, and damn good songs. Favorite tracks are “Red and Purple” and the amazing “Undeclared.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree with all of this.