Spotlight \

More New Music to Hear Now

By: Jon Dolan // July 7, 2004

The Fever
Red Bedroom
(Kemado)

They’ve got the fake names (Pony, Achilles), the au courantinfluences (New Order, XTC, ’70s Stones), and even a jokey hipstercover (Sheila E’s “Glamorous Life”). But the Fever are having so muchfun being a cliché, only the truly jaded could deny that thesugar-shocked exuberance of their full-length debut is a total blast.

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter
Oh, My Girl
(Barsuk)

A sultry-voiced country diva from Seattle and a member ofRyan Adams’ former band Whiskeytown craft an album of gorgeouslyslow-burning noir ballads. Sykes mourns the ghosts of lost love whilePhil Wandscher’s gray-day guitar sounds like it hasn’t slept since thelast episode of Twin Peaks.

Hangar 18
The Multi-Platinum Debut Album
(Definitive Jux)

One MC in this New York crew claims to test his rhymes on hisfirst-grade pupils–they must be some confused, crunked-up littletykes. Syllable-slingers Windnbreeze and Alaska emo-rap themselvessilly over refreshingly club-ready undieground jams. Not exactly “hotlike Suzanne Somers in the Sudan summer,” but close.