The Dodos – No Color
After 2009’s Time to Die proved to be a rather big letdown for The Dodos fans, the announcement of a third LP was met with a mixture of apprehension and hope of things to come.Thankfully, The Dodos decided to return to their original lineup and team up once again with producer John Askew, who helped shape their debut’s raw melodic sound. The difference is immediately noticeable. From opener “Black Night” to the ninth, and last track, “Don’t Stop,” No Color is a return to what made The Dodos so lovable in the first place. Featuring more electric guitars and a guest appearance by Neko Case, this third release is definitely more polished and mature than their last two albums, but it retains the group’s ethereal pop sound. A definite Sunday morning record, The Dodos continue to prove that they’re a cooler, harder rockin’ Fleet Foxes.
Trial Track: “Black Night”
8.0 / 10 — Cora Ballou
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You
(Cooking Vinyl, 2011)
Having kept fans waiting for over two years, British electronic duo Does It Offend You, Yeah? have finally released their sophomore effort Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You. Even though they have clearly stuck to their electro roots, this second LP sees them approaching the genre from a different angle. Tracks like “Yeah!” and “The Monkeys Are Coming,” which feature the band’s classic distorted synthesizer sound, are flanked by subtle guitar-driven indie-pop gems like “Pull Out My Insides” and “Wrong Time Wrong Planet.” Yet even with this eclectic mix of genres, the band stays true to their party roots and brings listeners 10 solid dance tracks. Perhaps this album may be too aggressive for the average music listener, but for those who like to stay awake until the early morning hours, Does It Offend You, Yeah? have just released the perfect evening soundtrack.
Trial Track: “Wrong Time Wrong Planet”
6.0 / 10 — Cora Ballou
It seems unfair to label Titus Andronicus as a simple punk band. Although the guitars are a little too reckless and haphazard for the genre, there is something snotty enough about their delivery and their total disregard for the indie rock sound du jour that earns them the cred.
But the New Jersey-based band refuses to let themselves become pigeonholed by the oft-limiting genre. The band’s second full-length album, The Monitor, is apparently “sort of” a concept album about the Civil War, which should appease those of us who appreciate our noise paired with a history lesson.
The paring of brainy and brawny especially works on songs such as “A More Perfect Union” â€“ a seven-minute long monster â€“ that starts with a haunting spoken words that eventually culminates into anthemic solos amidst gang-vocal choruses. Highest recommendations.
Trial Track: “Peeping Tomboy”
8.5 / 10 — Katelyn Spidle
Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape
The Colour and the Shape is the Foo Fighters’ second album, which saw the band make the leap toward establishing its voice and recording style. With 13 tracks, four singles and a handful of nominations, The Colour and the Shape was clearly appreciated for its experimental tracks and raw emotion. Produced by Gil Norton, the album explores youth with songs that describe periods of transition, relationships, and growth – all in about 46 minutes. Grohl himself said the album was loosely based on the beginning and end of a romantic relationship. With The Colour and the Shape, the Foo Fighters broke away from the grunge of the ’90s and took alternative rock to a new level by diversifying vocals, guitar riffs and lyrics. The album’s sound is discombobulated, suggestive and original, making The Colour and the Shape the band’s biggest U.S. seller and paving the way for the Foo Fighters’ success.
Trial Track: “How Soon Is Now?”
— Kalina Laframboise