In the City of Sleep, the sophomore follow-up by New York noise outfit the Fever, starts off simple, with a blues-induced number “Curtains” that escalates only in volume and voiceless abandon. It silently loops around to the end, capping off the last track “Yr fool,” and, respective to its name, pulls back and exposes an album that is as recalcitrant as a two-year-old child, yet entirely tame.
This is significant of the new Fever. Complete with a new cast of characters in this post-apocalyptic cabaret circus act, the Fever has set aside the sleazy clamor of their 2004 full-length debut Red Bedroom. In the City of Sleep is as fiercely lit with the backwash reverb and amp static that made their last record such a cult hit. To bring us a bouillabaisse of vintage rebel rock-n-roll, Bomboras-esque surf, pompous art school bravado, and bluesy tresses that, like the lurid hallucinations of a Grimms Brothers fairytale, is fantastically obscure. But they haven’t completely given up their love for mustache party rock.
And although this generation’s Spacehog is not ready for the Spin-influenced mainstream, In the City of Sleep has stolen some excitable underground attention that, regardless of the changes, is well-deserved.