With Ty Segall behind the board, it’s no wonder that Feels self-titled debut is inundated with delicious fuzz, some psychedelic acid wash, and an overall grimy film. Less expected is that, in addition to those familiar elements of the garage sound, the record taps into a fun California vibe that finds a perfect balance between the surf and the campfire.
Headed up by multi instrumentalist Laena Geronimo (who used to be in retro pop girl group The Like), Feels used to call themselves Raw Geronimo, but have changed their name to start a new chapter with a new sound. Their debut release has a spontaneity that feels wonderfully vibrant, with none of the studio gloss that can water down the urgency of a good garage punk jam session. No dilution here, from the straight forward hip shaker “Close My Eyes,” to the speedy punk beats of “Play it Cool” and “Unicorn, to the droning psychedelia of “Running’s Fun,” Segall captured every shred, breath, and drop of dust on tape and serves it up proudly.
Some of the best, and boldest, moments on here come in the form of the more experimental. “Bird’s Eye” opens with a snake charmer riff that echos throughout, giving the song a hypnotic Moroccan or Egyptian kind of vibe. “Small Talk” furthers the hypnosis with a trippy late night walk through the feelings of frustration, the guitars wail and wane simultaneously at the song’s bridge and it’s gorgeously epic. And then there’s “Tell Me,” the poppiest and sexiest confection in the bunch that feels like Shirley Manson lost inside of song by Thee Oh Sees. It’s this marriage of sweet pop and improvised fuzz rock that makes Feels feel so damn good.