Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reviews:: Dosh Wolves and Wishes

This post is dedicated to one of herohill's most loyal readers, Malcolm Rodgers. Why you ask? Well, it's chock full of drums and animals - two of the things he enjoys most. First off, a review of Martin Dosh's latest endeavor. Sure, it might not be goats, but Wolves and Wishes at least broaches the wildlife subject in the title.

Dosh is a talented dude who we've talked about a lot. There is really no way to deny that. He's constantly touring with Andrew Bird (helping thicken up his violin driven songs) and releasing albums that are as consistent as Ty Cobb's stroke. And sure, Wolves and Wishes is solid from start to finish, but for me it's the growth that helps it stand out.

Instead of drum machines, Martin moves into an even more organic sound. From the opening moments of Don't Wait for the Needle to Drop you sense that Dosh was looking to revamp his arsenal. The Rhodes and piano mesh nicely with Bird's violin and heavy drums, but even with all those elements and the infectious groove he finds, Martin manages to make the track sound relaxed and subdued.

The ominous collaboration with Will Oldham (who may have to start wearing a red cod piece to ensure his cameo status), Bury the Ghost, lives up to it's title. Creaks and flourishes compliment Oldham's tribal singing and the jazzy drums. It's spare and cold (just like you'd expect from the title) and adds depth to the record. In fact, the first five songs all hit on different styles - If You Want To, You Have To introduces some chaos and nice transitions to the effort and First Impossible is the type of mood music that could score a chilling film - and really demonstrate the time Dosh spent with the tracks. Every arrangement is analyzed thoroughly and as a result the record avoids the IDM trap that finds artists reverting to a common beat or tempo.

That being said, Dosh can still funk it up and his street symphonies make you move, kind of like when Kenny got to work with the NY Symphony because he was macking Rae Dawn Chong. Wolves finds a beat and runs with it, but the key to the song is the simple piano, fuzzed out guitar and horn work. The song is impossible to ignore, and you want to start it again before it even finishes.

I could talk about every track - the chimes that start Food Cycles before it breaks down into a fuzzed out layer of static and noise or way that Keep Up Appearance takes on a folksy vibe even with the crackling undercurrents that run through it - but I'd rather just talk about Wolves and Wishes as a full product. Dosh could easily just writes hooks and beats that please any listener, but as Wolves and Wishes proves, he's more excited by creating a full release with twists turns and cohesiveness.

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Now, last night I showed how uncool I am. I skipped the Black Kids and Cut Copy to see Duran Duran. Originally, I thought I'd be able to laugh along, enjoy a few songs and write a sarcastic review of how ragged the Seven and the Ragged Tigers were, but the thing is... they actually more than delivered.

Here's the deal. We walked in and the crowd was hyped. Sure, most of the crowd was like 40+, but it felt good to be at a concert where people were excited to be there and the band wanted to put on a show, not just sing the songs. Simon Le Bon had all the rock star antics - the sassy moves, the walk to the corner and sing to the left or right side, the political message before the hit, and of course, acknowledging that people were there to hear tracks that were 25 years old - and the band was willing to go over the top for the crowd.

Sure, the set was hourglass shaped - top heavy (Hungry Like the Wolf, the new singles like Night Runner, The Reflex, Come Undone and Planet Earth) with a lull in the middle, before hitting hard to end it (A View to a Kill and Girls on Film were solid) but the fact that 5000 people were screaming and yelling along with every word or that people threw hats and bras on stage has to account for something. The bass and drums (electric drumming Malcolm!) sounded huge and you saw people dancing in the aisles, singing along, high fiving each other. And, pardon my Boris Diaw, but getting the see 5000 people collectively loosing their fucking shit when The Reflex started made this well worth the price admission (full disclosure - that was $0 bucks, but whatever).

Posted at 2:28 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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