U.K. rock act Lo Fidelity Allstars has set a March 5 North American release date for "Don't Be Afraid of Love" the sequel to its 1999 Columbia debut album "How To Operate With a Blown Mind." That albu

U.K. rock act Lo Fidelity Allstars has set a March 5 North American release date for "Don't Be Afraid of Love" the sequel to its 1999 Columbia debut album "How To Operate With a Blown Mind." That album reached No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and spawned the single "Battle Flag" featuring Pigeonhed, a No. 6 entry on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Don't Be Afraid of Love" is due Feb. 18 internationally via Skint.

Thanks to extensive touring, a notorious performance on Howard Stern's radio show, and "Battle Flag" appearance on the TV show "ER," the Allstars have made major inroads in North America. The group's success was especially remarkable considering the departure of vocalist Dave Randall just days before its first U.S. tour began.

The new album, written largely while on tour in the U.S., features vocals from the remainder of the band and such collaborators as Bootsy Collins ("On the Pier") and former Afghan Wigs frontman Greg Dulli ("Somebody Needs You"). "We met Greg backstage when we were playing in New York," keyboardist/engineer Martin Whiteman tells Billboard.com. "We liked each other's work, so we wrote this dirty, sleazy piece of music and sent it to him, and he came up with the dirty, filthy lyrics to go with it."

Whiteman was particularly impressed with Dulli's versatility. "The thing about Greg is he's seen as rock singer, but he has this brilliant soul voice," he says. "It was nice to bring out that other side of Greg Dulli."

Having just completed a sold-out U.K. tour, the group plans to visit the U.S. in March for an appearance at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. Beforehand, the Allstars have three DJ gigs on tap in the U.K., beginning tomorrow (Feb. 8) at the Phoenix Bar in London.

A full-scale tour of North America is tentatively set for the latter part of the year. "The dream is to get a show together where we get all the guest vocalists and a brass section in and do the whole extravaganza," Whiteman enthuses. "But we'll have to sell a lot of records to fund that!"

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