By The Fever
These guys are from New York and it's safe to say they are cool cats. Lump 'em in the same bracket as The Faint if you must - essentially, "electroclash rock band". There's more to them than that and it doesn't all work brilliantly, but this a solid, ambitious album certainly worthy of a punt. Stuttering R & B inspired drum programming, interesting arrangements and the odd touch of discordant electronics separate them from the pack.
You might know the club hit "Ladyfingers", in the "House Of Jealous Lovers" vein - a sturdy, asymmetrical-haircut dancefloor smash. There's better stuff on offer here though - the discordant drum intro of "Hexxxed", falling over itself with a squalling guitar phrase. They're at their best here, edgy, impassioned and original. "Artificial Heart" could be straight off an 80s teen flick with its unashamedly retro synth line - at least until the yelping starts and the track becomes a bit more lumpen, a shame. If they didn't feel the need to turn everything into a proper "song" and stuck with the crazy syncopated arrangements I'd be way more keen. "Scorpio" is just that, with no vocals except a vocoder chant. It's not a cover of the Grandmaster Flash tune unfortunately but it's really good. "Put It On You" is in waltz time and Jeremy Jasper's vocal fits nicely here. Word on the vocals though: they tend to revert to a bit of a tinny yelp from time to time. I'm not averse to the odd yelp but this is rich and diverse music and the vocal does sometimes detract. Sometimes he sounds a bit like the bloke from The Killers... this could make me really prejudiced but I'll overlook it...
There are bits of James Chance and the Contortions turning up here, which is a great thing. This album is designed to be danced to, in the main, which is also a really good thing. They need to truly plough their own furrow, though, and stay away from any record company pressure to become a new Bravery... there are tiny stylistic similarities but The Fever are a totally different beast, thank God. If they got Lisa Kekuala from The Bellrays to sing for them they'd be absolutely blinding. As it is, they're pretty damn good.