FEELS , the Southern California Psych punk band collaborate with Ty Segall on their new self-titled debut LP
Matt Matasci / February 26, 2016
Feels self-titled debut studio album is the sort that begins with a “bang!” and never looks back. “Close My Eyes” gets the thing started with a classic surf-punk inspired verse that explodes into a distorted chorus sure to bring a smile to any face long-time fan 90s alt-rock heroes The Breeders. The Los Angeles punk band, formerly known as Raw Geronimo, specializes in an aggressive sound that is at times well-disguised powerful hooks, joyous guitar solos and unforgettable vocal harmonies.
Members of Feels include guitarist Laena Geronimo, vocalist and guitarist Shannon Lay, drummer Michael Rudes and bassist Amy Allen. While playing extensively across Southern California with fellow Lollipop Records bands (and even cutting a live CD/cassette for the label), they were signed to John Dwyer’s (Thee Oh Sees) record label for their first LP. A psych band from Los Angeles is hardly a novel concept, but there are not many other contemporary artists that sound like Feels. Several other groups do take inspiration from the noisy, guitar-oriented indie rock of the 80s and the 90s that drives their sound, but not many are able to create such the kinetic energy and musical diversity as heard on Feels.
Despite the power demonstrated on frenetic punk rockers like “Unicorn,” and it’s not all blistering tempos and punk rock attitude. Moments like the blown-out breakdown of “Slippin’,” the hypnotic riffage and vocal reverb of “Bird’s Eye” and the bopping, bass-lead verses of “Tell Me” remind the listener that this is a Castle Face Records release. Straightforward thinking is the antithesis of the majority of bands on the California-based label. While the most fun moments on the record are the bangers like “Close My Eyes” or “Play It Cool,” they need these slower moments to balance out the record. Otherwise, we’d be looking at one big blur of an LP.
The record was produced by now fellow-Angeleno Ty Segall, who leaves fingerprints of his trademark production style all over the nine songs. The songs have a rough edge, but they always have just enough pleasant fuzziness that they always come across as pop songs, just like he was able to achieve with his own discography. “Tell Me” is a great example, with a lo-fi feel to the guitars and drums, but the melodic group vocals sound well-polished and make for one of the most hook-filled outings on Feels.
Mar 08 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL
Mar 09 -First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
Mar 10 – The Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
Mar 18 – Pearl Street Co-op – Austin, TX
Apr 17 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA