The Fervor | Bleeder (Heartbeat Productions)

cd_fervor.jpgFelker sings the alluring, "You can take me how you want/ Because tonight I’m all yours," easily the best recorded offer I’d had all day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After several hours of wading through unimpressive raucous indie-rock promos one recent afternoon, by the time I got to the debut album by Louisville’s The Fervor, it was a breath of fresh air. Led by frontwoman Natalie Felker, this unpretentious pop rock quartet has a nice clarity of focus that makes even average songs sound good. But plenty here is above average: "Old State Road" is a brisk little tune which shifts tempos halfway through in startling manner (right about the time Felker sings the alluring, "You can take me how you want/ Because tonight I’m all yours," which was easily the best recorded offer I’d had all day). The piano-driven "The Void" sounds like it’s from a stage musical, and finds Felker pouring on the musical charm with everything she’s got. "Fast," although it isn’t, comes across like some odd pairing of Billy Joel and Liz Phair. There may be a few too many mid-tempo songs on Bleeder ("Let’s Fight" and "Brushfire" among them), but the Floydian atmospherics of "Out Alone" and numerous other moments here show that this band has some musical ideas worth pursuing. Meanwhile, the fine sound quality and amiable tunes make this a generally engaging listen, and Felker never overdoes the emotions. Oddly refreshing… B | Kevin Renick

RIYL: Liz Phair, Bettie Serveert, Cat Power

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