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Dengue Fever, ‘Venus on Earth’ (M80)

Stacey Anderson // January 19, 2008

Turns out, there’s a lot to be said for dancing on Pol Pot’s grave. In 2005, these Los Angeles-based rockers made history as the first Westerners to tour Cambodia since the dictator’s bloody regime, and that triumph lends a visceral confidence to their third album. (It also spawned the documentary Sleepwalking Through the Mekong.) Venus on Earth feels impulsive and rich, rippling with surf psychedelia and exultant brass swing. Elegant singer Chhom Nimol, who sometimes can seem a little meek, purrs with a fresh ferocity here; she makes a rote road anecdote (“Sober Driver”) silky enough to be the next James Bond theme.

Now Hear This:Dengue Fever – “Sober Drive” STREAMING MP3

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