Honing classic tonality and a sense of fluid experimentalism, desert rock upstarts Fever Dog make a strong statement of intent on their new single Lady Snowblood, proffering organic burl and power-trio chemistry offset by synth drama and stonerly boogie. The are only two tracks on the thing, but both “Lady Snowblood/Child of the Netherworlds” and “Hats off to Andrew Bowen (Live Version)” go a long way in hinting that Fever Dog have more going on than fuzz riffs and Kyuss-derivative idolatry.
“Hats off to Andrew Bowen” particularly owes much more to Hendrix than anything commonly belonging to the desert genre, but even “Lady Snowblood/Child of the Netherworlds” show the young outfit as capable of enacting a strikingly natural, jammy groove that brings the listener along to the extent that, when it breaks into the bizarro Floydian synth, one is hardly jarred at all by the change. Indeed, the second of the two extended cuts has its freakout on both ends, going from the instrumental push to theremin-inclusive guitar vibing that results in headphone-worthy psychedelic atmospherics. The three piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Graham (also theremin), bassist Nathan Wood (also noise) and drummer Josh Adams (also synth) made their full-length debut with the aptly-titled CD Volume One on Interstellar Overlord Records, which was no less ably riffed or stylistically intriguing, a cut like “Since I Met You” blending Melvins-style vocal snarl with the bell-bottomed garage fuckall that inspired that band in the first place — a break of fuzzy noise thrown in just to throw off, it would seem — but the single shows them working in longer form than the vast majority of the full-length, and they’re suited to it, both in the moodier blues stretches and the unexpected turns that answer them.
Both the single and the full-length have the vocals pretty forward in the mix — obviously it’s less of an issue on “Hats off to Andrew Bowen,” which is instrumental — resulting on “Lady Snowblood” in a kind of younger Alice Cooper sneer, but when it comes to the guitar, bass and drums and the extras Fever Dog have working in favor of their material, there’s little about the Lady Snowblood single I can find to take issue with, and it would seem that as much as the notion of “desert rock” conjures a specific notion in the mind of the listener, there are still some around intent on expanding that definition even as they continue to refine it. Very cool sound, lots of places they could go sonically. One to watch for sure.