Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever

Felix da Housecat

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever Review

by Andy Kellman

No one can deny the importance of Kittenz and Thee Glitz as a breakout record for Felix Stallings Jr. He had been kicking around since the late '80s, polishing his substantial underground cred, until spin-off singles like "Silver Screen Shower Scene" and "Madame Hollywood" aligned just so with the height of the self-conscious fashionista timewarp fad known as electroclash. At one point, Felix's mug could be seen in most American music magazines -- a baffling development to readers aware of the producer/DJ's past and the dance-phobic tendencies of those publications. Kittenz and Thee Glitz's sharp, hyper-melodic, song-driven nature helped steer some young indie rockers to "the other side" -- a side that can be tough to cross when the appeal of chugging guitars is much greater than that of thumping machine beats. Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever, the proper follow-up (after a pair of intervening mix albums), might actually bring some young dance freaks over to the rock world, since it relies heavily on the jagged guitars, rubbery basslines, and candy-coated choruses of new wave. One thing that has remained constant is Felix's predilection for concept records that play out like B-movie soundtracks; basically, the protagonist (Devin Dazzle) gets swallowed up by the nightlife and all the alluring sleaze that comes with it, and he crosses paths with a group of females (the Neon Fever) who get off on titillating and maiming helpless victims. A handful of collaborators help out on the instrumental and vocal ends, making the record seem a lot less like the work of one solitary producer. Even without considering the theme, it's a fully realized record -- it's of that rare breed in which the least exciting tracks at least help carry the listener along. If label executives of 1982 were brought to the present day, they'd hear at least six singles here. Cap the whole thing off with a finale that would make any Italo-disco producer proud, and you have a third successive Stallings full-length that tickles all the pleasure receptors.

blue highlight denotes track pick