17 January 2008

sneak preview: Catching Dengue Fever, Again

CD Review
Dengue Fever:
Venus On Earth
M80 Records

buy CD/hear samples
Dengue Fever - Venus on Earth CD
Three years after their deliciously different debut Escape from Dragon House, California-based Khmer-rock outfit Dengue Fever returns with more of their trademark Cambodian-flavored retropop. The concept still sounds like some critic's parody of an absurd world-fusion band, but as I discovered a couple years ago at Bumbershoot, these guys can rock a crowd, even if they're singing in a language shared by less than three percent of the globe's population.

On the new album, whether for poetic reasons or simply to make the music more widely accessible, you'll find several tracks in English, including the trans-oceanic love song "Tiger Phone Card" and the designated-driver lament "Sober Driver." Then there's the bilingual emotional-dripping "Tooth and Nail," which sounds like a Bollywood ballad that got lost and wandered across several borders unchallenged. Or maybe it's the soundtrack to a spy movie set on the beaches of SE Asia. It's that uncategorizable. And that fun.

[mp3] Dengue Fever: Sober Driver
from Venus on Earth
release date: 22 January 2008

Oh, and there's a new documentary about Dengue Fever, called Sleepwalking Through the Mekong. Check out the trailer.
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