Fever To Tell [Explicit]
A Great Punk Rock Record
The headline fronted a wink-wink t-shirt that I regrettably wore as an idiotic
adult child attending a state college. No, I never was offered any favors
when that article was worn, but it certainly held a double meaning to a mid-
90s drunken idiot. While that pathetic exclamation was splashed on my
being, vile underground punk / post-punk divas like pre-1987 Siouxsie
Sioux (and her banshees) and Linder (Ludus) were ignored in my limited
historical musical survey.
1998 was my introductory year to tireless research on great underground
and commercial artists of the past several decades. Shockingly early on in
my research were the two referenced cynically theatrical cranium
crunchers. Both acts wailed with blood under the fingertips clawing -- they
were a sound mutilation. Only one maintained a career (Siouxsie) and the
other is solely remembered as a curious name check from Morrissey.
Linder was a soul-piercing vocalist. From 1978-83, her unorganized
Manchester band recorded only a couple times for a local indie label.
When I heard her shrill, but artistically-enrapturing tracks -- she simply
froze me in sadness. It was an outrage that she had to be unearthed for
any recognition. However, part of me felt that this sound may actually
come back and a second opportunity for the experience would return.
Ludus reappeared in the form of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Karen O with Date
With The Night. Melodically brutal instrumentation and Os psychotic
chorus wail of Choke willed my purchase of Fever to Tell. Although the
Yeah Yeah Yeahs sonic background provides an appropriately confused
blend of garage, art-noise and proto-new wave, the lead vocalist is its
Karen Os lyrics blatantly sexual lyrics are usually attributed to her male
lead counterparts. They spark with deadly conviction. She reportedly fell in
love immediately prior to Fever to Tells recording, but is broadcast akin to
grabbing an unsuspecting fellow by his testicles and dragging him. There
are a couple of mellower tracks, but most are cast with the similar devilish
glow, which hovers the cds entirety. The lone exception is the Sioux-ish
hauntingly luscious Maps. Clocking in at around 37 brisk minutes
(including a pause and a bonus sister to the closing listed track), Fever to
Tell does not tire and persists its curious allurement even after multiple
Ironically, Karen O would likely attire herself with the same shirt that I wore
in school and would not give a damn what anyone thought. Fear not and
be dominated with Fever to Tell because it is much more tolerable if you
choose not to entertain resistance.
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