Dodson and Fogg
(After The Fall)
Beck, Wilco, Donovan
Having released 5 albums since 2012, you have to question the quality and depth in being perhaps too prolific. Dodson and Fogg hailing from England is named after a reckless law firm in the Charles Dickens novel 'The Pickwick Papers'. Mastermind Chris Wade who in-fact writes all the songs and plays most of the instruments is certainly talented. To be frank, his vocals are an acquired taste and tend to air on the ho hum droning boring side. After the Fall really hits the pavement hard falling flat for its lack of depth and originality.
The album does have a nostalgic feel and we were hoping the twelve tracks would have some substance after the third or fourth listen. Unfortunately, the album lacks flow and many of the tracks feel rushed or slapped together. Not much movement going through here. Most of the songs feature acoustic guitar and periodic splashes of muted electric guitar. The weak production really adds to tarnish the occasional impressive electric guitar work. There were times where we felt like two different albums were playing simultaneously as the timing of the electric guitar work was odd and poorly placed. Don't let the opener, "You're An Island" get you too fired up. The sitar and violin work peak are interest, but the middle tracks really fall woefully flat. Track 8, "Careless Man" is one of the few standout tracks where there is a bit more depth and texture. Check out in particular the duet with Celia Humphris of the folk band Trees adds some flavor with nice harmonies. While the repetitive rhythm acoustic guitar does get a bit tiring, the duet does shine through. The odd part is the song really hits a new level with the very short jam session at the end but fades away too quickly... a bit of a tease. The last self-titled track contains some flavorful acoustic jam rhythms but ultimately ends in a dull roar.
After the Fall feels a bit like an "unreleased tracks" album where the flow is less important than just cranking out yet another album hoping something will stick. While we applaud the work ethic to put forth so many albums in such a short timeframe , perhaps there is something to be said for Tool's every 5-8 year release track record? Or perhaps Mr. Chris Wade needs to take a page out of the great Mr. Mike Patton's diversity and ingenuity. - 10/15/2014
Standout Tracks: You're An Island, Careless Man