The Dodos' sixth album and follow-up to 2013’s Carrier was recorded in their base of San Francisco at Tiny Telephone on the heels of the Carrier sessions. Individ, however, is neither more of the same from its predecessor nor a break from the past. With grooving, more assertive vibes than Carrier, it has a Visiter-esque exuberance but retains the reflective quality of Carrier. The vitality is evident from the opening track, "Precipitation," with its tight rhythmic interplay between Meric Long's guitar and Logan Kroeber's drums, where the guitar seemingly gets drum parts as the song develops, all seamless in Dodos’ fashion. Without resting this instrumental dance, they visit ‘60s reverb-sweetened pop thickened with odd and mixed meters on "The Bubble," and the punky "Competition" is tasty indie rock single fare with a rousing herky-jerky quality. Moments of relative serenity are still impressively active. The more somber "Darkness" ("Erase all that I write in perfected endings") is packed with relentless, ultra-syncopated percussion and guitar. Whatever the tone of a song, the persistent, intricate instrument work is completely digestible and even catchy; if the Dodos have a trick, this is it, and they have mastered it. “Retriever” attacks with still more accented syncopation without getting monotonous -- it’s fuzzier, and the hyperactive guitar-drums crossfire is pretty electrifying, almost feeling like a live show. Elongated, pleading vocals (“And oh is that the way, the way that you want it still?”) top off the song's raw character. When things get a little proggier on the closer, the seven-minute "Pattern/Shadow" (with backing vocals by Brigid Dawson of Thee Oh Sees), Long's easygoing vocals and grungy guitar effects keep things warm. Altogether, the material is mature, technically proficient as ever, lively, and sounds rough and real; it’s hard to imagine Individ won’t be a hit with fans, intermittent or long-standing.
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson