Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

The Fever “In The City Of Sleep” Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

I was lucky enough to have had the chance to see the Fever in Minneapolis a little while back and I was absolutely blown away. Before seeing the show, I hadn’t heard the band, but for some reason I had this inkling that they’d be a heavy-on-the-electronic light-on-the-rock type. Also on the bill were Rock Kills Kid and Electric Six if that helps explain where I’m coming from with my initial theory. Well, though the band utilizes a strong, pulsing keyboard, The Fever are anything but an electronic band. The Fever are rock – period(.)

In The City Of Sleep’s first song after the album’s brief introduction, “Redhead,” is just as amazing and spastic as it is live. However, as the album progresses I found myself stewing on a thought that wouldn’t leave. While I am personally guilty of using this term too much, I had to question what blues-rock is, exactly. The Fever use a tremendous amount of deep, bluesy chords, and hit the same level on the piano and vocals; especially in “Crying Wolf,” and “The Secret.” But the band can’t really be considered a blues-rock band in my opinion. It’s not simply because of the fact that the group touches on Waits-ian alternative and experiment with a vast sound base, including chimes and saxophones, but for another reason altogether. The Fever’s songs which touch on blues-based rock are modern reinterpretations of the ’60s interpretation of the blues.

And that covers only a minuscule portion of the band’s work with In The City Of Sleep. “Little Lamb & The Shiny Silver Bullets” sounds like an early ’70s rock ballad put to the drum n’ bass snares. “Eyes on the Road” creates a high tension unrest enforced by a distorted narrative vocal track. “Hotel Fantom” erases any previous notions that the band is simply reinterpreting classic sounds with its high pitched, organ driven fervor. In The City Of Sleep draws a considerable line between bands’ who perform modern interpretations of whatever a “classic” sound might be and bands that are constantly changing sounds to avoid sounding stale. The Fever offer both, and the band does so in a way entirely unique and unto itself.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]