Even a cursory spin through Dopapod’s third album, 2012’s Redivider, is a jaw-dropping exercise in suspending disbelief. When the album was recorded earlier that year, Dopapod had only been together since 2009, a relative blink of an eye considering the quartet’s technical sophistication and stylistic diversity.
Redivider was made even more impressive by the fact that it was the band’s fourth release in that three-year span, preceded by 2009’s Radar and the live I Saw Live Dopapod Evil Was I and studio effort Drawn Onward, both in 2011. (Yes, all their titles are palindromes, just like their name.) Redivider was distinct for its use of vocals, a first in the group’s short history.
Dopapod coalesced in 2009, jamming and playing Boston’s basement party scene before recording Radar just months after forming. In short order, Dopapod became a live sensation up and down the Eastern seaboard, building a reputation in the Jam Band community, which garnered the group invitations to some of the country’s biggest festivals — Camp Bisco, Mountain Jam, Burning Man and Bonnaroo among them.
The quartet (guitarist Rob Compa, keyboardist Eli Winderman, bassist Chuck Jones, drummer Neal “Fro” Evans) has apparently never met an influence they didn’t like or couldn’t use; a Dopapod set careens wildly from Afro Funk groove to Metal volume to Prog complexity to Electro bounce. Dopapod’s rabid fan base knows better than to show up to a gig expecting favorite songs, although they’re likely to hear some of them; it’s not unusual for the band to improvise entire sets, touching on musical elements that range from Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin to Umphrey’s McGee and Sonny & Cher.
If Primus, Phish, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Muse had a musical baby, that little bundle of psychotically rhythmic joy would be Dopapod’s Yoda. And The Force would be strong.
DOPAPO D plays Friday, Oct. 25 with Aliver Hall, Blue Moon Soup, ethosine, Nevele, Us, Today, Freeform Connection and Peridoni at Madison Theater in Covington, Ky. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here .