The drums hit you in the chest first, spraying your speakers like swift gunshots. But htem Meric Long's finger-picked chords kick in, cascading across Logan Kroeber's brass knuckle beats like only the best Dodos song can.
This forward motion feeling has driven the duo since 2005, but several key changes lift their fourth LP (No Color) to another level. For one thing, the band reunited with Portland producer John Askew, the man behind he boards o the Dodos' first two full lengths, Beware of the Manics and Visiter. Having an old friend along was like adding an honorary third member; a voice of reason who isn't afraid of vetoing ill-fated ideas. Ideas like glossy layers of vibraphone that lost their luster halfway through.
The main focus of No Color was to bottle the frenzied folk approach that s been there since the beginning. And it works damn well, from the dagger-drawing dynamics and brain-burrowing choruses of Black Nigh to the hairpin turns and splashy percussion of Good. And then there are the songs that make you want to dub old episodes of 120 Minutes, including the instrumental break of Don t Stop and the sneak attack solo that weaves its way around the steely rhythms of Don't Try and Hide It.
'We're more naked this way,' explains Long. 'You can hide a lot of your mistakes on an acoustic, but with an electric, every single note is much louder and more piercing. So I have to be way more on top of my playing now.' And so do we.