DODOS – Time To Die (Wichita)

In the eighteen months since The Dodos last album ‘Visiter’ there has been a resurgence in alt. folk bands, most notably with Fleet Foxes, but also with UK bands like Mumford & Sons and Noah & The Whale, and I think that it is no coincidence that this has all happened since the Dodos reinvented the genre for the modern century with their first album in 2006. For their third release the band have consolidated on the success of their sophomore effort and produced another superb collection of songs. ‘Small Deaths’ opens proceedings with a gentle mid-tempo piece, which suddenly gets an injection of rock about halfway through due to the addition of electric guitar, and ends with some of the loudest noise of their career. The furiously strummed guitars of ‘Longform’ give it an urgency missing from a lot of their songs, and ‘Fables’ is as commercial as they get, having a catchy tune and a chorus that makes you want to sing along, making the obvious choice for the first single. ‘The Strums’ slides by without making much impression, but the double speed rockabilly rhythms of ‘This Is A Business’ give it that extra edge which piques the interest. The vocal intro and syncopated drumming of ‘Two Medicines’ - combined with the most obvious contribution yet of new vibes player Keaton Snyder - make it a stand out track, and shows just what can be achieved while still staying firmly within the folk genre. ‘Troll Nacht’ harks back to their last album, with its acoustic guitar picking and gentle vocals, with the drums only coming in later to beef up the sound, and ‘Acorn Factory’ has some great guitar lines running through it while still remaining the most overtly folky song on here. The title track closes the record, with a fine combination of rolling drums and stabs of electric guitar over the heavily strummed acoustics making a song that seems to last much less than its six minutes, and ends this album on a high. I haven’t seen many positive reviews of this album, but I feel that the band have moved on from their last one, while still keeping to their basic sound, and while not every song is a winner, there is more than enough on here to make for an enjoyable listen.