The Dodos: Time To Die CD review (Shockhound)

There’s a deceptive sense of simplicity that’s always been a fundamental part of the Dodos’ sound. As a group that, for most of its existence, was often referred to as an “acoustic duo,” there’s little about the Dodos’ approach that resembles the sparse strumming such a moniker implies. Instead, the palette Logan Kroeber and Meric Long utilize is expansive and dramatic, relying upon insistent percussion and reverb-drenched instrumentation to create an effect that’s much more heavily arranged than your typical coffeeshop duo. Appropriately, the recent addition of a third member – who plays, of all things, vibraphone – further expands their sound, and TIME TO DIE finds the Dodos indulging in dramatic, moody indie rock that’s more closely aligned with, say, the National than with any sensitive souls perched on a stool for open-mic night. Although a cut like the six-and-a-half-minute-long “Troll Nacht” verges upon prog-rock panorama, most of TIME TO DIE is considerably more compact; and from the breezy opening cut, “Small Death,” through the pogo-ready jauntiness of “This Is A Business” and the midtempo beauty of the closing title track, the Dodos show they’ve got far more to offer than heart-on-sleeve open chords and paeans to lost loves.

First appeared Aug. 4, 2009 at Shockhound.com.

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