Posted on February 6th, 2015 (12:00 pm) by Shayna Parr

The latest record from The Dodos, Individ, is a guitar and drum focused record that hearkens back to the band's biggest commercial success, Visiter.

The loud, but articulate and powerful guitar lines dueling with Metric Long’s dark vocals on “Precipitation” set the tone for the band’s latest collection. The album’s energy is especially impressive considering that The Dodos began working on it right after finishing Carrier. Individ certainly proves that they have an unlimited amount of creative energy.

Following “Precipitation” comes another water theme track with, “The Tide,” which has a similar upbeat energy. However, here it’s combined with rising and falling backing vocals, making the track name very appropriate. Like “Precipitation,” “The Tide” is a fun, engaging listen that keeps you bouncing on your toes the whole way through.

The next track, “Bubble,” is much more relaxed, with tight harmonies and cyclical guitar lines reminiscent of other punky folk bands like Fleet Foxes. “Competition” brings back the strong guitar and drum beats, with Long’s relaxed, but confident vocals soaring over them. The raspiness of his voice adds an air of mystery to this otherwise upbeat track, making it a layered song that's impossible to get tired of.

Long capitalizes on the darkness in his voice on the aptly named, “Darkness,” a more contemplative, reflective track than any on the first half of the album. This spooky track has a perfect wintery vibe for Individ’s January release date, and adds variety to the album. The simple beauty of the track's harmonies and falling, almost harp-like guitar chords make it sound extra magical. It's a definite standout on the album.

The up-tempo feeling of the earlier half of the album returns in “Goodbyes and Endings,” changing every once in a while with its frequent time signature changes. “Retriever” contrasts sharply as Long’s lighter vocals glide over a rough, harsh guitar line. Clearly, the band saved the surprises for the second half of Individ, but enough elements from the first half of the album appear to make it cohesive.

The only song that doesn’t seem to fit is the super slow “Bastard,” with its muddy vocals and almost dirge-like tempo. Though it clocks in at around three minutes, the monotony of the melody and guitar make the track seem much longer. Thankfully, the album closes out with “Pattern/Shadow,” a much more interesting track that combines brightness and roughness for a cool seven minutes of ear candy.

All in all, The Dodos' newest album has plenty of variety and intrigue to keep you listening, but still maintains enough similarities in each song to make it cohesive. It’s light and dark, rough and smooth, and just an all-around great listening experience that will make you wish it was longer than nine tracks.

Track List:

  1. Precipitation
  2. The Tide
  3. Bubble
  4. Competition
  5. Darkness
  6. Goodbyes and Endings
  7. Retriever
  8. Bastard
  9. Pattern/Shadow
The Dodos - Individ Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

67 / 100
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