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CD REVIEW

Dopapod: MEGAGEM

January 09, 2018
Dopapod open their newest palindromic record MEGAGEM with the funkified tour de force “Plaese Haalp,” and while the jamtronica quartet have always amalgamated into sonic harmony, this seven-minute rager is one of their best tracks to date. Intertwining razor-sharp guitar riffs with space-age basslines and cinematic strings, “Plaese Haalp” is a musical saga worthy of its track one placement. Over 40 minutes, the LP maintains its punch, whether it’s on the smooth bilingual standout “Mucho,” or the slow-burning instrumental “Buster Brown.” Dopapod recorded and self-produced MEGAGEM in the mountains of Colorado, improvising constantly and distilling those sessions into the eight songs heard here. It’s clear that after years of tinkering, Eli Winderman and Rob Compa have solidified the band’s signature out-there sound, with synth modulation and progguitar galore, as bassist Chuck Jones and drummer Neal “Fro” Evans hold down the rhythm department. MEGAGEM is the band’s fifth studio output (not counting their myriad of live releases) and, musically speaking, Winderman, Compa, Jones and Evans are solid as a rock. Even after pulling their best material for this record, they still have another album’s worth of songs in the chamber. Nevertheless, Dopapod have been on the road too long, and an upcoming, year-long hiatus was necessary to prevent a full-blown burnout. It’s a hard pill to swallow for fans, but you have to believe Winderman when he sings, “We are right where we belong,” on album-closer “Starfish.” Yes, a year is a long time to be without Dopapod, but MEGAGEM is the perfect parting gift. Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta

Artist: Dopapod
Album: MEGAGEM
Label: Self-Release