The Dodos

No Color

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Following the relatively sleepy Time to Die, Dodos snap back to action with No Color, a brisk and bustling set of songs that rivals Visiter when it comes to intricacy and immediacy. Compared to the joyous racket of guitars and drums here, Time to Die's atmospherics feel even more sedate, but any remaining cobwebs are cleaned out by “Black Night”'s guitar flurries, percussive tempests, and mix of melody and muscle, which provide irresistible momentum that carries through to the closing track, “Don’t Stop.” Meric Long, Logan Kroeber, and Keaton Snyder are joined by Neko Case on over half of No Color; though her clarion vocals could easily overpower other collaborators, she provides a yin to their relentless yang, softening some of Dodos' edges without dulling their impact. Her harmonies trail behind “Good”'s galloping guitar interplay alluringly, but she matches the band’s switches from china-shop delicacy to bullish raging on “Going Under” at every turn. Still, the stars of Dodos' music on No Color are the band's force and beauty, especially on the sparkling “When Will You Go.” At times, the album’s insistency feels a little too consistent -- “Companions,” with its quasi-classical guitar picking, is the closest thing to a breather -- and some of the songs may whoosh past listeners the first few times in a blur of riffs and rhythms. Regardless, No Color is a welcome return to form, and a nimble balance between the extremes of Dodos' previous work.

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