April 14, 2011

Dengue Fever | Cannibal Courtship

ARTIST:  Dengue Fever
TITLE:  Cannibal Courtship
LABEL:  Concord
REVIEW:  Everybody’s favorite Cambodian-American psych-rock band is back with their fifth full-length album.  It’s their first for a semi-major label and they’ve made good use of the larger budget, creating a Phil Spector-like wall of sound on many of these tracks.  All of their ongoing obsessions are still here – twangy surf music guitar, Ethiopian minor-key modes, cheesy Farfisa organ.  As time goes on, they’re getting better at integrating all these disparate elements into each song, creating more of a uniquely Dengue Fever sound.  The key ingredient here is singer Chhom Nimol – to be a great rock band you simply must have a charismatic front person, and Nimol has more stage presence in her pinky, whether she’s singing in English or Khmer, than most every lead singer has in total.  For my money, this is the best rock band in America right now, which begs two questions:
  • In a nation that is becoming so much more multi-cultural, why is rock music so slow to get in on the action?, and
  • Why don’t more rock bands rock as hard as Dengue Fever?
An excellent record that will be on many people’s best-of lists from a band that could easily achieve superstardom in the foreseeable future.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    4    9    10
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    5    6    7    8    11

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