Dos: Dos y Dos Review
When reviewing an album by Dos, there’s really three things that you can focus in on:
- Dos is Kira Roessler and Mike who were both members of two of the most important American punk bands of the 1980s.
- Watt and Roessler used to be married
- The album is made up of each of them only playing a single instrument: bass
Dos formed in 1985 when Watt and Roessler began dating after Roessler parted ways with Black Flag, sending each other tapes through the mail while Roessler attended Yale University. She later moved back to California and both the duo was officially born and the two were married. 7 years later and a few releases, they amicably divorced but still continue Dos to this day. Dos y Dos is their third full length record and follows their last, Justamente Tres, 15 years later.
The first track “Number Nine” sets the stage pretty well for what’s to come. Watt’s bass playing is pretty distinctive by now, you can hear his style wrap around Roessler’s bass chord opening as the two begin to expertly match their complementing bass melodies to each other. Track two, the jazzy “Make Her Me”, introduces the last element to the Dos sound: Kira’s voice. She takes lead while Watt eventually joins in, repeating two words under her vocals, sort of matching their bass interaction vocally. The album begins to blur together a bit at that point, the limitations of a band made up of two basses become a bit evident. Kira’s voice snaps things back to life with the excellent “Ties That Bind” while the following track “Number Eight” adds barking dogs to the mix. A few more instrumentals and a song in Spanish bring the disc to its closer “Om Om Om”, the two basses gently wandering into the sunset.
Dos y Dos works best with Kira’s voice in the mix, giving their bass noodling a sort of foundation. Both players are expert basses and you can feel the connection of the players, but unfortunately the limitations of two basses brings Dos y Dos down in parts.
Dos y Dos comes out on Watt’s clenchedwrech label today (7/12/11)