Words by Dennis Ruhlin

It’s been a hair under a decade since the San Fran duo started creating music, and their sixth full length, Individ, is something that should warm most Dodos fans heart. This nine track, 40+ minute long foray into the creative minds of these west coasters is enjoyable, but not without its pitfalls.

Opening with “Precipitation”, Individ starts off with a fantastic guitar and drum heavy track that builds up to a thunderous fury. With Meric Long and Logan Kroeber trading back and forth vocals in that unmistakable Dodos sound, it’s a six-minute beauty that really gets the blood pumping. They manage to keep the creative juices flowing right into the next track “The Tide”, another powerful track laden with feverish guitar and drums keeping you right on the edge of your seat.

Which brings us to a slower, more even-keeled track called “Bubble”. It’s characteristically The Dodos through and through. It builds, it slows, it’s highly enjoyable, and it carries you until the bitter end as it leaves you wanting more. Which is perfect, since it’s followed by “Competition”, which is arguably the best track on the entire album. It’s the single we’ve probably all heard by now which left us anxious for the album release. Everyone’s been talking about it, and for damn good reason. It’s more upbeat than “Bubble”, but not as intense as the first two tracks. It’s easily one of the best tracks they’ve ever created. The guitars, vocals, drums, everything is spot on. It’s fun, it’s catchy, it’s just about perfect.

Unfortunately, this is where the album took a turn. The next track, “Darkness”, slows down, and takes on a drastically different sound than the previous four tracks. It’s not bad per se, but it’s such a jarring departure from the start of the album. Things improve with “Goodbyes and Endings” which is better, but still left me wanting more. If these two tracks were switched I think the album would have a much better flow, but what the hell do I know?

Individ wraps up on a seven-minute jam session, which has an uptight yet janky sound which again, some folks are clamoring over, but I’m at a solid ‘eh’. I think it drags on too long, and doesn’t bring enough excitement to keep you motivated to finish the track. I wanted the album to end at this point.

Overall the album is worth a listen, especially if you are a fan of The Dodos. If you’re not, give it a whirl anyways just for the heck of it, but don’t expect a masterpiece. A few tracks will definitely make their way into some playlists of mine, but most of the album will easily be forgotten.

The Dodos
Polyvinyl Records
© January 23rd, 2015



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