|The Dodos — Certainty Waves (October 12, 2018)
The Dodos — Certainty Waves (October 12, 2018)♠ Po albech No Color (2011), Carrier (2013) a Individ (2015) a po nejdelší přestávce za desetiletí se akusticko~bubínkové duo vrací s nadějí, že přesunou svůj singulární zvuk pomocí elektroniky. San Francisco duo whose muscular percussion meets rarefied psych~folk songcraft.
Formed: 2005 in San Francisco, CA
Location: San Francisco, CA
Album release: October 12, 2018
Record Label: Polyvinyl
1 Forum 3:29
2 IF 3:34
3 Coughing 3:58
4 Center of 4:25
5 SW3 4:32
6 Excess 3:47
7 Ono Fashion 3:35
8 Sort of 3:57
9 Dial Tone 4:32
AUTHOR: Nicholas Musilli. Score: 9/10
✹ The commencement of Certainty Waves is a renaissance. The rebirth of sound, The Dodos’ 7th album begins with a disorienting, neutralizing amuse~bouche. “The Forum” clears your throat, readies your pistol, it’s the foundation for its listener. All at once, we are unpacked and unprepared. The tempo of sketchy electric guitars, mathematical drum kicks, and Meric Long’s voice is just so forward, so explosive. We are disoriented, falling through a void – only to reach “Center Of”. The acoustic guitar calms us, sets us down to Earth. An undulating riff, it’s sinking and calming — as to tell its listener it’s going to be alright, to put things in perspective. “SW3” splits the album perfectly, sheds light on who may have influenced The Dodos on their new experiment. Certainty Waves combines some of my favourite breaks in music, its ebbs and flows as a mature exploration of growth. “Sort Of” is the encapsulation of everything, although not the ending. It is the retrospective of life and death. Celebrating the birth of his son, and mourning the death of his father, this album is the limbo, the melding of chapters, the coping of crisis and the return to meaning. The Dodos have achieved a valiant comeback with Certainty Waves, a release of emotional distress with a light at the end of the tunnel. ✹ http://spillmagazine.com/
✹ „Lead single “Forum” evokes the rambling, clattering chaos of their early singles, with rowdy percussion and bursts of trumpet underscoring Long’s nimble vocals.“ — Consequence of Sound
✹ „The layered track leaps, twitching with energy. It has a grungy edge that leans away from some of their earlier, more folkier tunes. The lyrics still maintain a bright bounce.“ — Stereogum
✹ „“Forum” combines musical elements familiar to the work of The Dodos—intricate looping drum patterns, clattering, manic guitars, whiplash~inducing time changes — with new instrumentation, like the song’s shimmering string section present underneath.“ — Paste
✹ „That sense of immediacy can be heard on “Forum” with its trumpet bleats, Long’s bright melodies and Logan Kroeber’s romping percussion.“ — Rolling Stone
✹ To make Certainty Waves, their seventh album as The Dodos, guitarist Meric Long and percussionist Logan Kroeber had to forget everything they knew about what it meant to be The Dodos.
✹ Like the duo’s breakout sophomore album Visiter (which celebrates its 10~year anniversary in 2018), Certainty Waves finds The Dodos embracing the unlimited possibilities of a time when there were no preconceptions of what the band should sound like. Questions like whether the band needed to be more than just “acoustic guitar and drums,” and just what exactly the ratio should be of acoustic vs. electric guitar suddenly took a backseat to the realization that so much emphasis was mistakenly being put on form rather than spirit. Perhaps not surprisingly, this epiphany occurred while the band was re~learning Visiter for a show in which they were to perform the record in its entirety.
✹ Recalls Long: “At the time that show happened, I was a little bit lost in terms of which direction the record should go. We had a handful of recordings, nuggets, and song potentials, but they weren’t songs yet, and months had passed without any real progress. I was kind of debating whether to drop the kitchen sink, simplify things, or just leave them be.”
✹ But a funny thing happened when he sat down to listen to Visiter for the first time in eight years.
✹ “It completely surprised me how much electric guitar is on that record,” reveals Long. “The narrative had always been we were just acoustic guitar and drums.”
✹ This ostensibly simple observation was pivotal in unlocking a new approach to the material Long and Kroeber would later put to tape in the studio.
✹ “Rather than thinking about the end result or considering the reaction of the listener, I tried to give in to gut reactions, first impulses, however silly or untrue to form they may be,” says Long. “If it was exciting in any way, we pursued it without hesitancy or question.”
✹ What began to emerge from the band’s rehearsals was a quasi post~punk sound that Long immediately gravitated toward. It felt new and different, yet somehow still fundamentally “Dodos.”
✹ And so, Certainty Waves was born.
✹ Speaking of the aforementioned spirit, album opener “Forum” has it in spades: a fanfare~esque synth intro, thumping drums, trumpet bursts and fist~pumping “Hey!”s — not to mention a guitar line that wouldn’t be out of place snaking its way through a Strokes album.
✹ Later, “SW3” employs different tactics to achieve its own frantic vitality, intertwining acoustic guitar and clicking drumsticks in a beautifully syncopated rhythm.
✹ They’re the kind of songs that might not have existed had The Dodos immediately started work on a new record after finishing their previous one (2015’s Individ), as they were usually inclined to do. Instead, Long — the band’s primary songwriter — stepped away from music for a time after the birth of his first child, before returning in May with the debut album from his synth~based solo project FAN.
✹ “Making the FAN record [Barton’s Den] was a bit of a crash course in recording, but it really opened up a lot of new possibilities for me in how I thought about making records since there were no guidelines,” says Long. “It’s without question that Certainty Waves would be a completely different record, or perhaps would not have existed, had I not done Barton’s Den.”
✹ Long eagerly applied this newfound sense of freedom to his approach to The Dodos, and subverting one’s own processes and identities quickly developed into a central theme during the creation of Certainty Waves. It’s also a sentiment reflected in the album’s title — the idea that what once seemed so certain will likely prove not to be in the future. That it was only a wave passing by.
✹ “Certainty Waves is our midlife crisis record,” acknowledges Long. “Who we thought we were, how mistaken we were, how an interference in the trajectory can flip your understanding of what came before.”
|The Dodos — Certainty Waves (October 12, 2018)