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Saturday, November 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 43.0° F  Fog/Mist
Music
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Dengue Fever
Venus on Earth (M80)
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Sure, Dengue Fever get their fair share of print just because Cambodian psychedelic surf-rock isn't something the music press stumbles upon every day. But it's hard to resist their music's sublime feeling of mellow, global love. Venus on Earth is the third album from the L.A. sextet founded by brothers Ethan and Zac Holtzman. The band is fronted by Chhom Nimol, a nightclub singer the Holtzmans discovered in the "Little Phnom Penh" section of Long Beach.

The band add a Farfisa organ, horns and Nimol's hypnotic voice to traditional rock instrumentation of electric guitar, bass and drums. They play slow and easy while the organ blends in a psychedelic vibe.

Not that the 11 tracks here don't get danceable - most notably the orchestral pop tune "Tiger Phone Card." But Dengue Fever are best at letting their songs rise gently with each new verse.

It's hard to believe a genre this laidback is rooted in the American influence on Cambodian music during the Vietnam War - because Venus sounds as heavenly as peace on earth.

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