Dengue Fever Venus On Earth

Dengue Fever’s third release, Venus On Earth, has founding members Zac and Ethan Holtzman sticking to picture perfect late ’60s Cambodian psych rock. They spread this fuzz thickly over 11 cuts, starting with the lysergic haze of "Seeing Hands.” But Dengue Fever tweak this sound beyond Farfisa-heavy garage — check the Ethio-jazz on "Integration” and lushly baroque folk on "Tooth and Nail.” David Ralicke’s skilled horn playing and Gordon Clay’s recurring bongo action also expand the band’s sonics. But it’s lead singer Chhom Nimol’s exquisite vocalese and lyricism — she sings in Khmer (Cambodian) and English — that dominate the disc’s pop aesthetic, especially during her duets with Zac Holtzman on the hook-rich ’70s power pop of "Sober Driver” and the transatlantic lover’s tragic ballad, "Tiger Phone Card.” Without a doubt, Venus On Earth is the perfect pop record with a long shelf life. (M80)