Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
07 MAR 11 JULIE MURRAY PORTER
Dengue Fever's exotic blend of Cambodian rock, Afro grooves, surf, and garage psych continues to wow audiences. On Cannibal Courtship, the group's first studio album since 2008's Venus On Earth and their Fantasy Records debut, the members reach a powerful new plateau, deftly balancing the wide-ranging influences that inform their sound and songs.
Since their inception, the band's unique take on '60s Cambodian pop and American surf rock has garnered praise and attention from fans and critics alike. (Ray Davies from the Kinks called them "a cross between Led Zeppelin and Blondie.")
Longtime fans will get their required dose of haunting vocals and the band's spooky, kinetic, mood-swinging sound on the new disc but the group, which produced the set together, has upped the creative ante. The band's eclecticism gels instantly on the slinky, spiky rock of "Cement Slippers," "Family Business," "2012" and "Cannibal Courtship." They display a deep pocket and soaring vocals on the Cambodian dub track "Uku," deliver bilingual, gear-shifting drive on "Only A Friend," and mesmerize on "Mr. Bubbles."
Cannibal Courtship is, like the tropical malady that gave the band its name, wildly infectious. Ready to make new converts, Dengue Fever hits the road hard in 2011, starting in the U.S. and then jetting off to Europe.