Friday, December 4, 2009

Album Review: Yellow Fever-Yellow Fever

It seems a bit odd that Yellow Fever's debut album is coming out on Vivian Girl's Wild World Records imprint of all places. No disrespect to either band or the label, but for a label that has only released Vivian Girls' singles (and a pre-Vivian Girls band Bossy LP), the music of Austin's Yellow Fever seems like an unlikely first choice for their first "different" band on the label. However, it's slightly idiotic to make these minor complaints at all due to the label bringing this great, catchy, little album into the world.

I obviously feel in love with this band when they opened for Ponytail and am so glad this album does not disappoint. This album is a sweet little gumdrop in the current world of loud, distorted, lo-fi artist that seem to pop up every three seconds. Yellow Fever are the antidote to that, obviously obsessed with 80s minimalist bands like Young Marble Giants and Beat Happening. You know, the bands that were able to make so much with so little. Nothing but a guitar, bass, and drums, with so little more, you would think the band couldn't afford an effects pedal. The majority of these tracks are pulled from their two self-released EPs, with a few new tracks at the end. The nice thing is these songs are so catchy that I have no problem buying them again. Lyrically it also matches the twee theme, with songs about love, relationships, and animals. In fact, they usually compare people to animals, and animals to relationships.  

The album opens with "Rat Catcher" almost to prove this point. "Cutest Boy" is a sweet crush song with a not so innocent bass line that runs through the song. "Donald" is the meanest track on the album, more than likely dedicated to an ex with a line like "You Were Such a Sweet Baby/ Now You've Grown Up Old and Lazy".  It picks up again with "Alice", an ode to a favorite author that contains a good and interesting break down at the end of the track. The more guitar based tracks like "Psychedelic" and "Hell Fire" are even more insanely catchy, especially "Cats and Rats" the album's center piece, with a hypnotic bass line and a four letter call-and-response chorus that is to die for. "Metarie" is a nice change of pace with keyboards and the band's other vocalist taking lead. The last two tracks are the newest as well as the most developed. This especilly come off in album closer "Culver City", a builder that manages to completely scrap the guitar for another the bass line that I am realizing is a specialty for the band, and some well placed cymbal hits.  What we have here is a stellar example of twee  influenced post-punk. It may not reinvent the wheel, but it sure makes it very, very cool.


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