Following the dissolution of Women and prior to his tragic death in 2012, guitarist Christopher Reimer quietly joined Dodos– which seemed like an odd, if not impossible, fit. Dodos were a known quantity as an acoustic-and-drums (and loops) two-piece, proving effusive, melodic and spirited in a live setting. Conversely, Women’s turbulent post-punk hovered like a cloud bearing acid rain, as Reimer would often stand completely motionless on stage.
Frontman Meric Long claims that Reimer was a huge influence on Dodos’ new LP, Carrier, and lead single “Confidence” is proof enough. Rather than Long’s typical brassy, open-tuned acoustics, “Confidence” is built on the kind of small, wiry guitar curlicues Reimer would lend to Women’s output. It’s still every bit a Dodos song in the ways that matter the most, though; the melodies are warm and pleasantly rumpled, drummer Logan Kroeber forgoes mundane timekeeping to push and prod Long and in the second half, the two ditch the relative minimalism to hurtle through a breakneck jam of harmonized guitar leads that can be heard as a tribute to a man whose short time with Dodos truly moved them.
I am looking forward to seeing and hearing Meric and Logan at Sled Island next week, though it will be bittersweet for me. Chris asked me to come to Sled with him the first couple of years of the festival; I never did. Thought I was too busy at work and thought I couldn’t afford the plane ticket. This year I’ve bought a Festival Discovery Plus Pass. Gonna cram in as much Sled as I can. With/without him.