Editors' pick

The Dodos

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Editorial Review

Album review: "No Color"

The Dodos are back to clanging and clattering around on their new album, “No Color.” It’s what the San Francisco duo of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber does best — create a rickety rumble that injects their folk songs with a lively charm.

The lack of a racket was largely absent on 2009’s “Time to Die,” a big reason that album was met with a collective whimper after the excitement created by 2007’s breakout “Visiter.” But jittery rhythms return and help propel such songs as “Going Under” and “Good,” giving them a constant momentum that makes their six-minute lengths easy to handle.

Even the guitars are treated more like percussive instruments. The acoustic strumming on “Don’t Try to Hide It” and the buzzing riffs on “Hunting Season” are there for muscle more than melody. Many of their folk brethren build songs on harmonies, but the Dodos opt for a bit of chaos. It makes the songs occasionally blur into one another but is certainly more invigorating.

Not that there aren’t some harmonies to enjoy. Alt-country chanteuse Neko Case is featured on much of the album but is relegated to true background duty most of the time. When she makes herself heard on “Sleep,” it adds a nice sparkle to the Dodos’ ruckus.

— David Malitz, June 10, 2011