The Feelies may perhaps not be the Velvet Underground’s 1st disciples—Jonathan Richman was there at the inception, tailing the band with the fervor of a Deadhead. But it could be argued that the New Jersey institution, led by Glenn Mercer and Monthly bill Million, is responsible for considerably of the indie rock that flowed downstream from the Velvets. Crazy Rhythms, the Feelies’ 1980 debut, bristled with a confined nervous electricity as the band brought the downtown improvements of the Velvet Underground to the suburbs, an aesthetic that became portion of the lingua franca of guitar-pop for the ensuing decades.
The Feelies’ new album, Some Kinda Like: Performing the Tunes of the Velvet Underground, captures a general performance held in conjunction with the touring exhibition “The Velvet Underground Experience” throughout its New York City operate in 2018. Location up shop at the White Eagle Hall in Jersey Metropolis, the Feelies invited fellow Velvets fanatics Richard Barone and James Maestro of the Bongos to hop on stage, then proceeded to tear through a established that sidelined the avant garde escapades of the Velvet Underground to concentration squarely on their strengths as a rock’n’roll band.
Rightly celebrated as a vital act in the birth of transgressive rock, the Velvet Underground also had a sweet undercurrent flowing by means of their at times abrasive new music. Some of this can be chalked up to Lou Reed’s enduring like of doo-wop and R&B, an passion that grounded the group even as they floated much afield on waves of sounds and atmosphere. As a band, the Feelies don’t very share the similar R&B affinity, nonetheless they hone in on that heat, intentionally sidestepping the ominous dread of “Heroin,” the cacophony of “Sister Ray,” and the poignant disappointment of “Pale Blue Eyes” so they can participate in tunes that collectively audio like a celebration.
The Feelies favor no specific period of the Velvet Underground on Some Kinda Like, balancing selections from the group’s early several years with John Cale with tracks at first sung by Doug Yuletide, Cale’s substitution in the Velvets. It’s a holistic check out of the band that sites an emphasis on songs that audio great inside of the confines of a club. The most telling collection may perhaps be “Head Held Higher,” a rocker that opens the second aspect of Loaded—the previous album Reed produced with the group—and the minute exactly where Some Kinda Really like kicks into superior gear: It’s a tune with no larger which means than becoming a genuine good time, which is specifically what the Feelies intend to produce.