By: Casey Jones
Based out of Brooklyn, Dopapod specializes in bringing the jam-funk-electronic-groove that only they know how to make. Having been together since 2007, Dopapod have slowly but surely built a steady following and perfected a sound that could be described as “Dopafunk”. When listening to their newest album, Redivider, I expected to dance. What I did not expect was that I would be dancing in so many different ways: raging, grooving, vibing, moshing, etc… These guys really got it all down! We live in a world where electronic music has really forced its way into almost every other genre, but on this album there is no forcing. Jamtronica has become a legitimate sub-genre of jam based rock and if you’d like to hear a perfect example o f what it’s supposed to sound like then do yourself a favor and listen to this album.
Clocking in at 65 minutes, Redivider features 13 tracks (9 songs and 4 interludes). The interludes almost give the album a live feel. It’s like the members of the band knew our minds wouldn’t be able to handle 60 minutes of straight “Dopafunk” so they peppered in the interludes to give us a mental break from time to time. It works out quite nicely, for the album and our health. “Braindead” is probably the closest thing to a traditional rock song on the album. Opening with a French accordion, the song quickly takes a turn at exactly 30 seconds in. The combination of heavy guitar play and psychedelic keys gives it an Umphrey’s McGee meets The Doors kind of vibe. “Bubble Brain” is much more on the jam side. This song features an awesome breakdown at about 4:05 that makes you initially think you’ve just been led into the next song, only to be greeted by my more awesome keys that say “Hey, Bubble Brain isn’t over yet!” “Trapper Keeper” is, without a doubt, the funkiest song on the album while also featuring some really good lyricism. “Nobody wants to be where everybody’s going / Everybody wants to be where everyone is.” It’s like when you don’t want to go to the bar because YOU KNOW SO MANY PEOPLE are going to be there but then you want to go to a show because SO MANY PEOPLE YOU KNOW are going to be there. I think everybody can relate on that one. “My Elephant Vs. Your Elephant” is one of the more laid back tunes on the album. At 7 minutes and 19 seconds, this song spends almost the entire time building while giving every member of the band a chance to show off their skills, the title fits perfectly, let my elephant go then your elephant can go and so on and so forth.
The second half of the album kicks off with “Blast”, a very electro-funk cut. If you haven’t been able to tell from this review, the album is almost like an evolution of sound. Every track progresses into something slightly different sounding from the last while managing to maintain key elements from each previous song, a real testament to the bands skill and determination to have a sound that is truly their own. “Vol. 3 #86” really highlights all of these things. Being the longest song on the album at 7 minutes and 34 seconds, it’s also the most sonically diverse. This song really takes you on a journey through Dopapod’s sound and gives you a small taste of everything rolled all into one. If you had to listen to one song that could sum Dopapod up, this would be it. “STADA” does a great job of playing two sides. The beginning of the track is very electronic and very out there. Midway through it transitions (very well) into a smooth rock melody that would make anybody put their lighter up in an instant. This particular combination results in Redivider’s most well put together song. “Give It A Name” sounds like a throwback to the nineties and features some awesome guitar play from Rob Compa. I could have seen this in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 back in the day. “Weird Charlie” is the album’s final track and they pulled out all the stops for this one. Opening up with a bass line that would make Tim Commerford proud, they then bring the accordion from “Braindead” back in and proceed to jam out with almost too many sounds to count. But like everything else on the album, it all flows and all works well together. The final 2 minutes turn into all out chaos and is essentially telling the listener to rage like there’s no tomorrow. Fitting, seeing as the album is set to release on December 21, 2012.
If nothing else, Redivider is a fun album from start to finish. Whether jam, rock, electronic, funk or something else is your thing; you’re bound to find a track you can get down to. The fact they’ve only been together since 2007 makes it very interesting to see where their sound will evolve. If I had to guess, I’d say we can only expect bigger and better things from Dopapod in the future. If you live on the east coast be sure to catch them playing with Papadosio for a 2 night New Year’s run in Philly & Richmond. They’ll also be back on the road at the end of January through February covering the Midwest, South and East Coast, check their facebook page for more details!