Published Sep 25, 2013The acoustic guitar has long been a defining characteristic of the Dodos' more folk-oriented pop sound, especially on early releases like Visiter and Time To Die. Singer and guitarist Meric Long mastered a tonality and inflection in his inverted chords that factored into a successfully distinctive signature paired with drummer Logan Kroeber's intricate rhythms. But, as with all bands, sounds evolve and the Dodos are in the midst of a shifting phase.
No longer clinging onto the acoustic guitar, Long has amped up with an electric, hoping to convey the same messages through a louder sound. The song structures — soft openings that build to thunderously crashing choruses — are still intact, but the mode of delivery has changed, which evidently sets the band back a bit. Onstage, with an additional guitarist, we are now presented with the Dodos as an unmistakably straightforward rock band.
And though there is nothing wrong with that, the change in dynamics is still something the band needs to work out both on record and live. Songs like "Confidence" and "Stranger" from their latest album, Carrier, still boast the same effectiveness, anchored by Long's often sombre lyrics, Kroeber's tumbling speed drumming and added guitar assistance with the third member to create a wall of reverb that works well and is executed with the upmost precision in those particular moments.
Elsewhere, though, parts of the night blended in together seamlessly, but indistinguishably. The Dodos are gradually but surely transitioning their acoustic folk rock to something pertaining to just the latter word, but its identity is getting a bit lost in the shuffle is all. In due time, when the transformation is complete and perhaps the band breaks out of their template structures, we will see a whole new act in front of our eyes.