Monday, January 24, 2005

Short CD Review.

The Features Exhibit A
2004 Universal Records

It was very logical that the first release from The Features, an independently released EP, was titled The Beginning. Now, with Exhibit A, their first full-length release, The Features provide a stunning defense for their entrance into the modern music scene.

The first three songs of Exhibit A explode with energy, carrying the listener along with infectious guitar riffs, a banging rhythm section, and eerie, quirky keyboards that combine elements not usually found in the recent wave of retro-influenced rock groups. The versatility of The Features is then displayed on the track “Blow It Out,” a simple, polished straight-up pop rock song that contrasts with the opening tracks of garage rock. With twelve songs, Exhibit A avoids monotony through The Features’ subtle incorporation of differing musical styles into their main sound. Songs include sections of disco-beats, garage rock, swing, and pop rock, with numerous shades in-between, that are musically diverse enough to keep the songs fresh through repeated listenings, but unified enough to express a unique style for this new band trying to find a niche in the music scene.

Singer Matthew Pelham does an impressive job with his delivery throughout all of the songs on Exhibit A; he applies a quivering, near-shouting, voice to the rougher musical areas (such as “Exorcising Demons,” and “Exhibit A”), while allowing a smooth, lilting croon to carry musical ballads like “Blow It Out” and “The Idea of Growing Old”. His approach to singing is very sensitive to the mood that the music evokes and complements the diversity of musical styles that The Features display.

Ultimately, The Features make a good name for themselves on Exhibit A. They have a knack for using a variety of musical styles to express themselves, and seem to be very mature in their development as songwriters for their first full-length release.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm ... time to check them out. I've heard good things about the Kings of Leon, too. They might fill the gap until the Black Crowes get back together.