2011 a Space Odyssey
Label: Metal Postcard Records
Tell us if you've heard this one: Backpackers walk into a Cambodian bar, fall in love with pre-Khmer Rouge psychedelic pop and form a band with a winsome-voiced Khmer singer. OK, Cambodian Space Project's premise is Dengue Fever redux (sub in Aussie backpackers) with plenty of sonic overlap (both love their vintage covers). But where Dengue favors slinky, surf-y trips, the Project goes on a raging acid-fueled bender. 2011 offers a chaotic take steeped in blues (down to the harmonica), classic rock (down to the Khmer "Venus" cover) and the political history of Cambodian pop (see "Mean Visa Kmean Bai").