Release Date: Oct 12, 2018
Record label: Polyvinyl
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Experimental Rock
Ten years on from their breakthrough second album, Visiter, Californian two-piece The Dodos have made what vocalist/guitarist Meric Long refers to as a "midlife crisis record. " This means a bold step away from some of the band's earlier, more folk-driven material and a reckless yet rewarding dive into righteous racket. Considerably denser, more anxious and purposely blurred than their last record, 2015's Individ, here Long, paired with ludicrously skilled and expressive drummer Logan Kroeber, offers up a relatively brief (35-minute) but almost immeasurably textured, expansive, and layered album that shimmies along the tightrope of cool as fuck math-pop and white-hot rock.
Following 2015's Individ, the Dodos took some open-ended time off before deciding to reconvene for their seventh LP. In the interim, drummer Logan Kroeber returned to his day job and guitarist Meric Long lost his father, saw the birth of his first child, and ended up making a solo album under the moniker FAN. The latter was inspired by spending time with synthesizers he inherited from his father.
Certainty Waves opens with a three minute and twenty-nine-second-long auditory grandstand that, by the time the sawing synth drones and grain cloaked strumming of its first bars have been shattered, reverted to grunge darkness, set on fire by a blistering guitar riff and then hacked back to breakneck acoustic guitar strumming, the listener has been furnished with a couple of facts. One, that this is without a doubt a Dodos record in the truest sense - singer and guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber's calling cards are all over it - and two, that all bets are off. It's a wild, shifting, hallucinatory fever-dream of syncopated percussion, wheezing synths and song structures so unstable that by comparison they make a bowl of Jelly seem as sturdy as a two-by-four.