Taking their cues from the Posies and Teenage Fanclub, Army Navy began making sugary, melody-driven power pop in 2004. Vocalist Justin Kennedy launched the group upon his move to Los Angeles, having left Seattle after playing alongside Ben Gibbard (the future frontman of Death Cab for Cutie) in the band Pinwheel. With the help of bassist Benjamin Gaffin and guitarist Louie Schultz, Kennedy began shopping his new material around California, eventually piquing the interest of producer Adam Lasus. The group decamped to Lasus' studio to record The Fever Zone with iconic drummer Pete Tomas (of Elvis Costello & the Attractions fame), who served as a temporary percussionist. Missouri native Douglas Randall climbed aboard as a permanent drummer after the album's completion, allowing the group to play shows alongside the Arctic Monkeys and Wolfmother in support of the record.