With their fifth long-player ‘Carrier’, The Dodos produce the most mature and assured work in their fine catalogue to date
Album number five sees songwriter Meric Long inspired by the passing of one of his musical inspirations, former Women guitarist Chris Reimer, to create the duo’s most mature and assured work to date. The band still trade in the same brand of catchy indie-folk/rock, but continue building upon the gradual harder edge that has evolved throughout their work, venturing slightly further into the realm of indie-rock and slightly further away from indie-folk.
Though you might expect death to have caused the songs on Carrier to become insular and mordant, the result is, though not exultant, a celebrating the life of the duo’s friend, rather than a requiem for his passing. It can be heard in the trumpet on Substance and in the cathartic energy of The Current. This is not to say that sorrow doesn’t feature, for the Explosions In The Sky-like melodies of Family and poignant chords of Relief hint at the turmoil that has been experienced.
Carrier sees The Dodos adopting the same approach to dealing with death much as Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, took on Eels’ masterful second album Electro-Shock Blues, with the songwriting drawing a conclusion that sees sadness as the gateway to catharsis, one that allows you to come out the other side looking forwards.
Verdict: Mature, assured and catchy indie-rock