The Dodos: Visiter

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By: Carlye Wisel

Within the first four seconds of Visiter (released March 18 on French Kiss), it’s apparent that The Dodos aren’t your run-of-the-mill singer-songwriters, pop-rockers or even rock-folk-pop-singer-songwriters. The duo has a distinct sound that’s almost impossible to be label.

Most of the 14 tracks flow seamlessly together in a pattern similar to an orchestral suite. Marked by slightly sullen, quietly sung lyrics paired with quick, repetitive drumbeats that mirror a metronome – the beginning of almost every song on Visiter is the same. While some stay like this and continue building tension until their respective conclusions, others, most notably “Joe’s Waltz,” loudly climax with harsher drumming, background howls and a significant increase in both energy and intensity.

Whether it’s the pedestrian near-ballads “Park Song” and “Undeclared” or long, detailed poppier pieces like “Jodi” and “God?” that last over six minutes, it’s nearly impossible not to tap a foot to the mix of driving beats and steady guitar strums. I became a MySpace Dodos junkie before I got my hands on this full-length, and was initially disappointed at how much “Fools” and the aforementioned “Jodi,” both tracks featured on their page, stood out on the album as more developed and catchier than their counterparts. But, Visiter is an album to be lived in, where new lines and phrases constantly become stuck in your head when you least expect them. Over time standout tracks level out with the less immediately grabbing ones, and if there’s one thing The Dodos are it’s multi-layered. And maybe even rock-folk-pop-singer-songwriters, too.

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