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Review: Visiter – The Dodos

Among the many new indie artists these days few ever manage to leave lasting impressions on the cumulative burden of too much music and only 16 or so waking hours in a day. Heck, w

28 Apr, 2008

Arjun S Ravi

Editor

The DodosAmong the many new indie artists these days few ever manage to leave lasting impressions on the cumulative burden of too much music and only 16 or so waking hours in a day. Heck, we see it in India too. There are tonnes of new bands sprouting up, all with MySpace and Reverbnation accounts touting home studio tunes and enough typos in their bios to give one a headache. Suddenly thereâ??s almost always a gig to go to and everyone from celebrities to suburban 16 year olds with unlimited bandwidth crying â??rockâ?. So where do the boys get left behind, and where do the men take over? More importantly, is there the need to draw that line?

San Fransisco based duo The Dodos can be called many things. Acoustic folk, indie rock, new love â?? all define the band equally well, but doesnâ??t do them complete justice. The one term that does is â??uniqueâ??. They create their own soundscapes without much regard for rules. Rules these days are broken by most bands. So much so that broken rules become the new rules and these get broken to make new rules. Bands that are effortless stand apart. The Dodos donâ??t try. The result is something that all indie music should be but often is not, sincere. With their acoustic, lo-fi sensibilities and curvy lyrics The Dodos manage to be original and interesting through the length of Visiter.

What the band excels at is being unpredictable and vivid in a fluid rather than jarring way. It makes their music all the more appealing and accessible on the repeat. Take â??Red and Purpleâ?? for example. The band plays a regular progression that blends synth sounds in their lo-fi ambience with ease, the tempo changes doing nothing to shake the beauty of the melody. The summery â??Foolsâ?? leaps through â??Oh ohsâ? and a variety of instruments without easing up on the echoes, or the clangy madness. Suddenly, in the middle of the song, the instruments stop save for the scratchy guitar and Meric Longâ??s cylindrical voice repeats â??Iâ??ve been awful silentâ? to the growing crescendo.

Itâ??s this kind of frank emotive that makes songs like â??Joeâ??s Waltzâ?? shine. A stranded piano key here, a harmony there, fits the pieces so well together like a numbered jigsaw puzzle without holes. They build waves that break instantly without changes to the force of the water they supply. The experience is enchanting.

Indiecision: A

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