Posted by Brian G Flores on
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The intro of "Precipitation", the opening track on The Dodos' sixth full-length album, Individ, is haunting, even sonorous, in its beauty and its sheer determination. Individ was recorded on the heels of their previous album, Carrier, a work haunted by the death of Christopher Reimer, the former touring guitarist who briefly made the band a trio. Individ shares some of the same melancholy at its core, but this is an album stylistically and sonically very different from its predecessor.
The Dodos' brand of music, while gorgeous, can be charitably described as challenging. Whiplash-inducing rhythm changes, offbeat instruments, and lengthy arrangements are characteristics of some of The Dodos' most compelling songs, and "Precipitation" is no exception to this. The aforementioned intro, which clocks in at nearly a minute and lays the groundwork for the song's rhythm, is elegiac and alien. It sounds like someone attempting to wrestle a klaxon or warning siren (or perhaps an itinerant time machine) into tune. The intro draws you in with its beauty, while simultaneously filling you with dread, a postmodern siren's call.
The lyrics tell the story of an individual in transition, his restlessness and anxiety underscored by the arpeggiated drumming and guitar picking that comprise the song's melody. The song marches along for another three minutes, shifting into another gear as only The Dodos can, as it segues into the bridge. Meric Long and Logan Kroeber are known for a physicality to their playing that borders on math rock in terms of its complexity, and this song pushes you to that edge.
"Precipitation" is a perfect opening statement for this album. While Individ sounds like a companion piece to the band's breakthrough sophomore album, Visiter, it captures the existential crisis and yawning dread that accompany intimations of mortality. Despite their grief, or perhaps because of it, The Dodos refuse to spoon-feed their listeners compact three minute pop songs. You engage with this album on their terms, and inhabit their world for six-odd glorious minutes
Catch The Dodos tonight, opening for seminal Danish rockers Mew, at the 9:30 Club. This is a late show, with doors opening at 10pm. You won't regret it.