Is there a rootsy folk-rock band — or any rock band, period, this side of Rush — that's more reliant on drumming than The Dodos? Multi-instrumentalists Meric Long and Logan Kroeber build their best songs around percussion to startling effect: "Good" and "Don't Try and Hide It," from the new No Color, pound and clatter with such precision and clarity, the whomp of the drums might as well get a lead-vocal credit.
After 2009's slower-moving and far less eventful Time to Die, it's satisfying to hear a rebound as confident and assertive as No Color, which is consistently shot through with infectious energy and real power. Without losing sight of its predecessor's pursuit of sweet melodies, the new album regains the thrill of The Dodos' 2008 breakthrough Visiter, while wisely bringing in Neko Case as a ringer on backing vocals. (Really, has inviting Case to sing on an album ever been a bad idea?)
Give the drummers their due: Long and Kroeber sound reinvigorated throughout No Color — appropriate, given how invigorating it is to listen.