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24 September 2012

Dodos - 'Visiter' (Wichita)

Dodos are from San Francisco I think and still at it; this is their second release, from 2007, and the only one I'm really familiar with. How that happened was somehow by accident - I overheard it at a bar or club and took a shine to one of the bouncier tunes, maybe 'Red and Purple' or 'Fools'. Not that I need to defend enjoying some indie-pop, but you have have me will notice my golden era was about ten years prior to this, so I'm just explaining how one artist broke through the glut of the Internet era to reach these ears. Visiter is a double LP collection that, on a fresh listen, holds up really well. This duo has a simple setup - acoustic guitar and drums - but builds strikingly complex songs with a huge amount of momentum, cause, let's face it, the drummer is shit-hot. He keeps a syncopated thing going throughout most of the toe-tappers. It's a lot of rimwork, and not much low-end, which speaks to these white ears. But the melodies are somehow clean and catchy, shining over the frantic guitar-strum and staccato beats. At two LP's, Visiter could almost wear out its welcome, but it never does, balancing the slower ballads amongst the energy ('Ashley' is quite moving, haunting really). There's not much beyond guitars and drums but the occasional intrusion of a xylophone or horn or even electric guitar adds a nice spice to the proceedings - on 'Winter', the horns really boost the nostalgic vibe. That thing about indie-pop that tends to annoy me - the overly cute, bland vocals - is only slightly slightly present, but it's saved by the music having some real energy and bite. Who would have ever thought indie pop would benefit from rhythm, rhythm, rhythm? Actually, it seems obvious in retrospect. Accessible and lively, 'Paint That Rust' even has a slight Hasil Adkins vibe to it. 

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