Hearing Aide: Dopapod’s ‘Never Odd or Even’

NOOE“Just like a moth flying toward the light, I’ll never learn but I still try.”

 After consuming Dopapod’s fourth studio effort Never Odd or Even a few times I started to feel a kinship with that moth lead guitarist/vocalist Rob Compa sings about in “Present Ghost” – the albums lead track. Unlike most releases of late, it ruled my brains mental music player for days without rest. End to end the 9 (+1 hidden) track piece has no dead air, no filler, no bathroom songs and more peaks and valleys then the beautiful Upstate NY terrain. This is music that goes beyond simple listening and invites your other senses to an emotion filled rager (w/ free tequila!). It’s happy, sad, spooky, mysterious, and ecstatic all in one prettily packaged jewel case.

“Remembering is everything! Everything! Everything!”

The ‘pod’s music, like many of their peers, is impossible to pigeon-hole into any sort of simple description . This is genre-non-biased music by definition – a conglomeration of every influential mentor on four musician’s lives. Like Mr. Compa says – remembering is everything – to transcend ones predecessors one must appreciate their crafts in their own original way. Influences are rife throughout N.O.O.E – the “Empty Spaces” (Pink Floyd) like breakdown in lead track “Present Ghost” – the Zappa like guitar and organ harmony in “Like a Ball” – the Cream sludge rock bookends on quite probably the world’s only honky-tonk jazz instrumental: “Hey Zeus (Que Pasa)”. Even Hollywood gets a nod here with the  Poindexter infused peaks of the aptly titled “Nerds” which – beyond an amusing spoken part – only contains the repeated lyric “No words”.

“They just don’t like sing that much, there’s like no words”

It would be remiss of me to exit this review without mentioning the absolute high point of an album full of them. Track 4 – the mysteriously titled all instrumental “FABA” – takes back the sadly overused word “epic” to its original meaning. Despite containing elements of jazz, funk, rock, and electronica this nine minute piece is closest to a classical composition – as if Mozart and Anastasio smoked a giant blunt and made a hippie opus for the ages. Put simply – it fucking rocks. All of it rocks, get on this album, it’s the best 10$ you’ll spend this year.

Key tracks: Present Ghost, Like a Ball, FABA