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The Fever
RED BEDROOM
(Kemado)

Although they look as if theyíd rolled out of a time machine this morning, the Strokes have never held the historical accuracy of their neo-garage rock above the pleasures of the occasional sonic anachronism. Thatís why "12:51," the lead single from last yearís Room on Fire, included a guitar line that sounded like a neon laser shooting out of Ric Ocasekís eyeball. The Fever, another New York quintet with impressive vintage-store threads, are lucky to share this set of priorities: itís clear theyíre familiar with the same old-school garage rock as the Strokes, but drummer Achilles lays on his hi-hat as if he wished he were in Chic, and organist J sounds more concerned with replicating ancient Atari games than tending the memory of ? and the Mysterians. So, no, the Feverís debut full-length isnít paint-by-numbers nostalgia, and thatís a big part of its appeal: "Ladyfingers" is skeletal funk rock with guitars as sharp as press-on nails; "The Slow Club" is ghost-town new wave; and "Cold Blooded" whips an angular groove like a reunited Devo.

(The Fever perform this Friday, July 2, upstairs at the Middle East, 472 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call 617-864-EAST.)

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: July 2 - 8, 2004
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