Dengue Fever, the incredible third album from The Gluts is officially out now and you need it in your life. Inspired by bassist Claudia Cesanaâ€™s recent encounter with both dengue fever and malaria simultaneously, itâ€™s perhaps no surprise that the album is an intense, claustrophobic listen. Though the title talks of hypnotic trips, thereâ€™s no kaleidoscopic motifs to be found here, instead just a piercing noise-rock fever dream in which youâ€™re losing control.
â€œEverything started a year ago when Claudia got two tropical diseases at the same time. She was just back from Africa and we got a message on our group-chat telling us she was at the hospital with a strange fever, it was pretty scary. We wrote the first ideas while she was in a bed under a mosquito net. We wanted to do something to distract her from negative thoughts.â€ The band explain that the nature of the albumâ€™s origins was borne out in the music itself: â€œDengue Fever Hypnotic Trip is a trip. Dengue fever, together with malaria, is what Claudia actually experienced. Itâ€™s like a fuzz that punches you square in your face in an overloaded hypnotic way, and we wanted to show that in the music.â€ And they certainly did exactly that - you can hear for yourself by streaming the album in full below.
Declaring its intentions from the off, the first two tracks, â€˜E. The Real Punk Rockerâ€™ and â€˜True Roseâ€™, are grimacing noise-rock scorchers that break down into thick walls of razor-sharp guitar noise, screeching electronics and barking vocals. Later in the album, â€˜Leviathanâ€™ similar catches a churning humdrum riff slowly churn underneath NicolÃ² J. Campana's tortured vocals, gradually building up into an inevitably tinnitus-inducing crescendo.
Despite their sonic belligerence, the band are still attuned to the odd melody to, albeit one naturally hypnotic and cloaked in reverb: â€˜Swampâ€™ and the 11-minute â€˜Dalalâ€™s Songâ€™ deal in a visceral, shoegaze-y post-punk sound that drifts into dreamier territories, the latter seeing Claudiaâ€™s mesmerising vocals bring a brief almost-mystical respite from the all-out noise thatâ€™s always around the corner. As is the case with the following track â€˜De Witte Jagerâ€™, a mechanical synth-punk nightmare soundtracked by a robotic monologue, and the proceeding album-closer â€˜J. Will Fuck You Nowâ€™ which is a piece of unadulterated lo-fi noise-rock that sees the album off with your ears ringing.
In the couple of years leading up to the new record, the band have been playing packed out shows across the UK and Europe, picking up a formidable reputation for their intense, deafening but fun-as-hell live show. This new album sees them encompass all of that across a seven-track noise-rock masterclass that can be a challenging but always-rewarding listen. This is the sound of a band on top form.
Dengue Fever Hypnotic Trip is available to buy on vinyl below.