Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Dodos - Individ

The Dodos

Released 2015 on Polyvinyl
Reviewed by Separator, 21/05/2015ce

On 'Individ', their sixth album in nine years, Meric Long and Rogan Kroeber (who record together as the Dodos) continue to do what we've come to expect of them while also finding some new modes of expression. The attractions of a Dodos record are legion: the duo's incredible technical chops; their uncanny knack for writing earworm hooks and melodies; the sense that they are just as amazed by what they're doing as you are.

6-minute opener "Precipitation", also the highlight of the album, ushers in the record with Long's clear, clean vocal: "Until now there was a reason / Let go of it, it's not relevant". After a lo-fi guitar bridge they launch into the kind of joyful guitar breakdown we remember from 2008's standout album 'Visiter' (songs like "Joe's Waltz" and "Jodi" come to mind), Long still singing about the healing powers of letting go: "Let go of it / Get out of here / Let's get out of here for good". It is an utterly hypnotic, beautiful song, and it is up there with their best work.

They don't quite reach those heights again, but the rest of the record is still very enjoyable and occasionally great. Other standouts are the single "Competition", whose main guitar motif and hook will stick with you for some time, and the melancholic "Goodbyes And Endings". They don't always hit the mark: the album slows down somewhat near the end with just-okay tracks "Retriever" and "Bastard". These are still fine though, and they follow it up with the 7-minute kiss-off "Pattern/Shadow", one of their most transcendental tracks ever.

Overall this is probably the best Dodos record since 'Visiter'. It is a great indie-rock record in a year that so far is seriously lacking in great indie-rock records, and a supremely enjoyable way to spend 39 minutes.


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