OK – so I’m a bit of sucker for female vocals as far as punk / artrock bands go. And when there are actually DUAL female vocals in a fresh new band that touts a mix of the two genres, then… well, I’m unashamedly all aquiver!!
I first came across FEVER FEVER when they remembered to at least send one of the requested two songs for the LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM compilation! (See review within the Punk Albums section.) At around the same time, they received the accolade of ‘Single of the Month’ in Artrocker Magazine for ‘Monster,’ and resultantly they very quickly became my new favourite band. For that particular week at least – I’m a little bit fickle that way, I’m afraid.
However, after listening to this five-track ‘Bloodless EP’ all that’s going to happen is that I’ll have to substitute the words ‘my new’ in the last sentence, for ‘one of my.’ It’s likely to remain towards the top of my playlist for many weeks.
All five tracks are as immediate as they are urgent and direct; full of spitting attitude, but at the same time exhibiting a chirpy and light feel. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that I sense a similarity at various points to Shrag – another of my favourite bands who also employ the dual female vocals model. In fact, the chorus to opening track ‘Bloodless’ sounds very similar to Shrag’s ‘Talk To the Left.’ But I’m happy with that. And ‘Static’ sees the vocals alternating between colloquially spoken and harmonised singing, with added yelps and shouts….. much in the Shrag mould.
But don’t rush to condemn FEVER FEVER as simply copyist. Their musical interpretation is essentially a good deal more aggressive and leaning more towards ‘punk’ than Shrag, who bend more to an ‘artrock’ fashion.
‘Butcher’s Shop’ is full of distorted guitar noise and the image inducing opening lyrics:“If it’s infected, I’ll chop it off – hang it in the Butcher’s Shop”
Smit’s crashing cymbals and pounding drums accompany the guitar that variously swings between a rolling and rumbling refrain and that fuzzed up riff, while Rosie and Ellie bounce the vocals off each other.
‘Mouth House’ opens with a lighter feel, but whenever the girls are not talking / singing their frantic lines, the music takes on a more manic and threatening form. ‘Black Lung,’ again adopts the sort of schizoid guitar sound and combines it this time with some disturbing / haunting backing harmonies. After a few listens, you could certainly envisage this track, being used in some ‘slasher’ / horror B-movie! It’s pretty atmospheric, in a brutal and creepy way especially so around the midpoint when the subtle but haunting harmonies enter as if some ghostly echo from another realm.
(Released through Cherryade Records on October 11th 2010)