Let's build a wall
Nerds - Dodo Bird (The Dodos)
Dodo Bird -- recently rechristened The Dodos -- is Meric Long and Logan Kroeber. Long sings, plays piano, guitar and even trombone. He writes the songs. Kroeber holds down the percussion job. It sounds like a lopsided distribution of duties, and in many lo-fi singer-songwriter-guitarist/drummer duos, it is: The drummer's a mere human metronome (with as much personality as a block of wood) or there only to gussy up his buddy's tunes with inconspicuous stick work that won't shift the sightlines from the star. But even if the project began as Long's, with Kroeber a later addition, drum kit emissions on their Beware of the Maniacs LP aren't decorative scrollwork. For one thing, the drums are fucking massive -- booming, throbbing, gut-slugging, room-ripping attention hogs. They bellow. They growl. They howl. Even when they aren't massive, even when they're "just" nervous, capering beetles in a bucolic meadow picnic like "Elves," they spike your toes as they skitter over the tops of your shoes.
But wait. Here I am making The Dodos sound like Liars when they're probably closer kin to Animal Collective. Long's psych-folk-pop compositions are smart and tight and melodic and his hammer-handed, fleet-fingered acoustic attack always meets Kroeger's thumps halfway, awkward toe to toe, chin to chin, heat to intensity. And his voice is great. Warm and wobbly and familiar like a brother's or a best friend's. Except (or maybe mostly?) when he's yelling like an asylum escapee -- anguished, near-inarticulate, tonsil-baring scream-sobs -- in songs like "Nerds" and "Men" (hear on the band's Myspace). All of which is to say, I think, that The Dodos are probably a band to experience live. Though they're pretty damn good on record, too.
Buy Beware of the Maniacs
Meric Long's Web site