September 21, 2011

The Cambodian Space Project | 2011: A Space Odyssey

ARTIST:  The Cambodian Space Project
TITLE:  2011: A Space Odyssey
LABEL:  Metal Postcard
REVIEW:  Straight outta Phnom Penh, the Cambodian Space Project play 1960’s-style Cambodian rock with a 21st century twist. If that sounds familiar, then you’re probably already thinking about the enormously successful American band Dengue Fever, who have a similar modus operandi.  Compared to their more famous predecessor, CSP is a bit punkier, certainly less sophisticated and wide-ranging in their influences, and their original material just doesn’t yet stack up to their Ros Sereysothea and Pan Ron covers.  Of course, Dengue Fever started as a cover band themselves, so let’s give CSP a bit more time.  For a first album, this is pretty superb stuff -- a great cover of Sereysothea’s “I’m Sixteen” (track 5), a kind of folk-rock vibe on 6, hard-hitting power pop (7), and a New York Dolls-meets-Cambodia sound on 8.  And the piece de resistance is track 9, a mash-up of a Sereysothea lyric with the one and only American hit by Dutch band Shocking Blue (yeah, you know the song).  One of my favorite debuts of the year.
TOP TRACKS:    5    6    7    8    9
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    2    3

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