Feels enters the crowded field of west-coast garage-rock bands and quickly claims its own dingy, fascinating corner.
LA band Feels spends much of its debut twisting expectations. Opener "Close My Eyes" seems at first like down-the-middle garage rock, until the chords clear out and the vocals take on a narcotic echo. The textures of the song get deeper and darker as it goes, and it becomes clear that there's something going on in these songs that set them apart. Some other songs take faint hints of classic rock ("Slippin'"), alt-country ("Today"), and heady psychedelia ("Small Talk"), binding these all together with a punk energy and an exploratory pop sensibility. Feels can blast through stripped-down brash rock like "Play It Cool" or "Unicorn", but those songs feel secondary to the more surprising turns here. The album is a confident yet ever-shifting debut, one that enters the crowded field of west-coast garage-rock bands and quickly claims its own dingy, fascinating corner.