11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Naturally, the Dodos’ lo-fi 2006 debut Beware of the Maniacs sounds quite different from their polished 2008 offering Time to Die, but in 2006 the Dodos were a guitar-and-drums duo winning over the hearts and unfolding the arms of San Francisco’s art school coolies and bicycle hipsters with legendary house-party shows and easily likeable recordings of catchy, memorable songs. Beware of the Maniacs has been described by critics as psychedelic folk — maybe because in 2006 “freak folk” was all the buzz — but this album is so much more. There are moments when the duo play with an aggressive attack on their instruments (like on “Men” and “The Ball”), hinting at what would come with 2008’s Visiter, and then there are mellower times when frontman Meric Long muses gently on his inability to grow manly facial hair (“Beard”) or when he flirts with fast-paced country flat-picking (“Chickens”). Overall, Beware of the Maniacs boasts well crafted and tastefully arranged tunes with Long’s boyish vocals sounding honest, not yet affecting the prerequisite nasal-toned inflections of commercial indie rock.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Naturally, the Dodos’ lo-fi 2006 debut Beware of the Maniacs sounds quite different from their polished 2008 offering Time to Die, but in 2006 the Dodos were a guitar-and-drums duo winning over the hearts and unfolding the arms of San Francisco’s art school coolies and bicycle hipsters with legendary house-party shows and easily likeable recordings of catchy, memorable songs. Beware of the Maniacs has been described by critics as psychedelic folk — maybe because in 2006 “freak folk” was all the buzz — but this album is so much more. There are moments when the duo play with an aggressive attack on their instruments (like on “Men” and “The Ball”), hinting at what would come with 2008’s Visiter, and then there are mellower times when frontman Meric Long muses gently on his inability to grow manly facial hair (“Beard”) or when he flirts with fast-paced country flat-picking (“Chickens”). Overall, Beware of the Maniacs boasts well crafted and tastefully arranged tunes with Long’s boyish vocals sounding honest, not yet affecting the prerequisite nasal-toned inflections of commercial indie rock.

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