The Dodos

    {grate 2.5} While Meric Long and Logan Kroeber of the Dodos will
    certainly reel you in with rhythmic drumming, vocal chants and atmospheric
    psych-folk-pop reminiscent of Animal Collective, the duo’s second album Visiter
    won’t make a lasting impression on voracious aficionados of the genre.

    It may be too harsh to judge the San Francisco-based duo’s
    second work as a “paper-mache Mephistopheles,” but there is an undeniable
    hollowness that encompasses the collective songs. One would think the
    screeching bellows and soft whispers of Long and his bluesy guitar, dynamically
    entangled with Kroeber’s relentless drumming, would create a psych-folk
    masterpiece. Instead, we have an album that falls short of making an impact.

    Songs like “Ashley” and “God?” are pristine moments where
    the dusty Visiter is allowed to take off its drab coat and shine. Long invites
    you to take a closer look at the dynamic relationship built among ambient
    electronics, tambourines, steel-stringed acoustic guitars and thematically
    rudimentary vocal chants, but the Dodos only get so far with their setup.

    The album reveals an emptiness beneath what seems at first a
    lush and promising ride. Visiter may keep you listening through its first run,
    but it won’t prompt your finger to hit repeat.

    Kroeber’s drumming can oftentimes be too domineering,
    noisily conflicting with the intricate complexities permeating through Long’s
    fingerpicking. The inevitable result of trying to do too many things at once,
    creates a clash between Kroeber and Long that Visiter seems to suffer from.

    Perhaps this band must closely re-examine the symbiotic
    relationship between the drums and guitar, so central in its musical strengths
    and weaknesses, or meet the same evolutionary fate as its ill-chosen moniker.

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