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Dos y Dos

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Album Review

Dos' understated creative partnership has lasted so long that any new album is almost an unexpected pleasure; Kira Roessler and Mike Watt's recorded work is almost overshadowed both by their various live performances and their individual efforts in turn (especially Watt, who always seems to be doing ten things at once). Dos y Dos, the duo's fourth album in 25 years and their first new one in 17, finds the two continuing to make their mark with the deftly simple approach of two electric basses and Roessler's occasional vocal a minimal, eternally engaging approach to a song. The easy way in which hooks are traded off between the two performers, the melodic leads played steadily and sweetly with instruments played non-traditionally, has been a part of the band since the start, but there's a sense that the two players have settled into a place where all their unrecorded work slowly built up over a decade and has come together just so. "Uncle Mike" has a quick, almost quizzical tone that's fun to hear as the two players throw in a little hard funk in between their calmer interactions, building to a series of rising notes and a gentle conclusion. When Roessler's voice steps out, the feeling is conversational but still sung, a series of considerations and observations. Watt's additional vocal on "Make Her Me" adds a little theatrical threat to the unsettling scenario of personal and physical shaping, while Roessler's lovely take on Selena's "No Me Queda Mas" is another unexpected pleasure, her most to-the-fore and romantic performance on the album and an overall highlight. A nice touch is a pack of distant and seemingly happy dogs on "Number Eight" adding a little swirling unexpectedness to the sweet feeling of the main parts; it could almost be an understated theme song for a documentary series on Animal Planet.

Customer Reviews

Worth the wait

Finally a new album from Dos (Mike Watt and Kira, fifteen years later and a decade and a half after their marriage split up they are still making great music together. It's encouraging to think that the young kids who made the energetic punk rock that I grew up on have matured and continued to hone and refine their musical craft, turning out this cerebral and introspective album, which is as finely tuned as a Swiss watch. Each album continues to be more developed and more exquisite than the last. It's pretty awesome stuff. Fans of the bass guitar will not be disappointed.

There is not as much venturing here into string sounds, percussion, fret work, or microtonal tunings as with other great bass works, but the interplay and exchange between the two performers is unparalleled among such albums, with the two of them performing a delicate dance of sound like two martial artists choreographing a Ninja fight scene for a movie.

It's a quiet work, so for those of us who have followed the two musicians since Black Flag and the Minutemen, be prepared to sit back and reflect. The music only gets better with repeated listening!


Formed: 1986

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Dos is a curious yet interesting double bass guitar side project for Mike Watt (of the Minutemen and fIREHOSE) and his former wife, Kira Roessler (from Black Flag). Formed as a vehicle to take the bass beyond its perceived background role and into the forefront of a band, Dos (named for the Spanish "two," not some operating system) also became a therapeutic experience in the wake of Roessler's departure from Black Flag and, more tragically, Minutemen D. Boon's sudden death on December 22, 1985. After...
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Dos y Dos, Dos
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