Fans who were let down by The Dodos' mellowed-out album, Time to Die, will be pleased to know in its new album, No Color, the band returns to the distinctive and unconventionally drum-heavy sound of its acclaimed Visiter.
The album opens with the high-energy “Black Night,” reminding us why we came to love The Dodos in the first place. Meric Long and Logan Kroeber’s rapid and chaotic strumming and drumming immediately yank the listener’s attention away from the mediocre lyrics to the main show: their incredible musicianship. Long croons in his smooth voice “Control yourself/I don’t want it to, I don’t need it to contain itself,” a representation of the conflicting themes and moods that present themselves in the song. “Black Night” merges seamlessly into the next track, “Going Under,” which smoothes the tumultuous percussion over with lush, complex chords.
Although many songs on the album, like the beautifully written “Sleep,” are testaments to the musical potential of The Dodos, there are some letdowns. “Don’t Try to Hide” has a cliché melody with repetitive lyrics.
Similar to the previous album, Time to Die, the second half of the album leaves the listener wanting more. Throughout each song, the listener is waiting for the clashing riffs and chords that are so prevalent in the first half, but instead The Dodos offer smoother melodies with orchestral backgrounds. Although pretty, it’s average – it lacks what makes The Dodos special.
The bonus track, “All Night” is good but lacks focus. The wild rhythms and dissonant chords are a bold attempt by The Dodos to sound different, but nonetheless leaves the album in a bit of a disappointing state.
Overall, No Color is a good representation of where The Dodos are as a band. It clearly has the potential to make great music but chooses to take a chance on making songs that are daring instead of safe. While this is respectable, the repetitive lyrics bring down the quality. Regardless, this is a solid album – and definitely worth a download.