If there was ever a band to never disappoint and constantly surprise, it’s Dopapod. This electric quartet has the singular ability to cohesively merge seemingly incompatible musical styles with more precision and swag than just about anyone else out there today; and their third studio effort, Redivider, is a shining beacon of proof.
Rounding out at an hour and over thirteen tracks, Redivider is both a solid representation of the Dopapod we’ve heard over the last few years as well as a journey into new territory. Most notably, the boys have added vocals to the previously 100% instrumental jams, and once again, they do not disappoint. What’s interesting is how they treat their voices as instruments, often singing in harmony, complimenting the songs’ chord structures, adding another melodic element to an already heady mix of intersecting rhythm signatures and harmonies.
Some highlights include ‘Braindead,’ ‘Trapper Keeper,’ and ‘Vol. 3 #86,’ but track three, ‘Bubble Brain,’ is the gem of the entire piece.
‘Bubble Brain’ sounds a bit like what an X-Wing pilot might listen to for motivation during a star fight. The introduction is a singular clean tone guitar riff that evokes images of floating through empty space, perhaps with other star pilots in tow. Next, after about 10 seconds, the rest of the band enters with rolling bass, tumbling drums, and suspenseful, sci-fi synth which all seems like the calm before the storm, the peaceful soar into a deadly engagement with an alien swarm.
When the beat drops, at 33 seconds, the tempo jumps and it feels like you’ve been thrust into a battle between star fleets. Or you might feel like dancing your face off, and both are more than acceptable. Intertwining guitar and keyboard melodies harmonize to create a sonic scene of beauty and chaos that, at 1:40, takes a 20 second lull revisiting the introductory guitar riff, and boom, Dopapod throws down. Alternating between some dubstep-inspired robotic noises and the cleanest, most heartfelt and maybe Flamenco-inspired riffs, ‘Bubble Brain’ goes insane. Soaring from a killer guitar solo and leading into a dreamy keyboard solo, you might think the song’s over. Yes, the high-energy sci-fi battle might be over, but really that interlude is just the sound track to the elation and calm after surviving a barrage.
At 5:26, ‘Bubble Brain’ takes a turn for the amazing. The last minute or so of the track conjures images of a tattered battalion of fighter ships flying beyond the debris field with a great nebula in the background. Swirling purples and greens, blues and yellows, all a well-deserved backdrop for the heroes of the future.
Overall, Dopapod is a bit hard to wrap your head around. Flowing between Metal, Electronica, Psychedelia, Jazz, and Funk, Dopapod is a veritable lesson in music. What’s more is their setup: with only a drum kit, one guitar, one bass, and some keys, Redivider brings the listener through floating highs and overdriven lows seamlessly. Dopapod is surely one of the most methodically imaginative 4-piece around today. If you’re looking for hours of great music, grab a copy of Redivider, and press repeat.
Written by Peter DeStefano
OurVinyl | Contributor