Featherface, It Comes Electric

Featherface, It Comes Electric

With It Comes Electric, Featherface does the near-impossible — in my book, at least — by taking loose-limbed, organic, all-over-the-map psych-rock and marrying it to full-on, wide-grinning, right-in-your-ear arena-pop. And, against all odds, making it work amazingly, awesomely well in the process.

The best-looking of the offspring from this union has to be mid-EP track “A Youthful Offender (The Men We Will Be),” which, incidentally, I hope to God these kids use to kick off every damn show, and which comes off like OK Go locked up in a room with tons and tons of television sets and an endless supply of drugs. The song’s exuberant and busy, starting off on a Chavez-like note with skittering, down-low drums, half-stepping vocals, and noodly, prog-y guitars before jumping into a stomping slab of pop-rock, complete with frenzied, distorted vocals in the chorus. It’s the kind of infectious track that makes me want to how along at the top of my lungs.

Next best is final track “Thinning The Air Around Them,” where the band’s sweet-yet-cracked sound makes me think of Machine Go Boom, albeit with a more sinister undertone to the whole thing. The song begins with seemingly straightforward piano, but then the guitars and bass explode in around the sound, transforming it to a threatening, foreboding, almost Eastern-sounding chant. And then again, the chorus plays like early-’00s pop, smiling like crazy while bashing you over the head with melody.

Opening track “Something Shiny” does well, too, drifting along woozily in a lysergic haze before it swings in with a sneaky, underhanded punch, and “Breach” reminds me nicely of The Shins’ better moments, quieter and more sing-song-y than the rest of the tracks here. Then there’s “And You’re Lying To Yourself,” which is jaunty, swinging, darkly-tinged piano-rock and nice for all that but pretty much just serves as an in-between bit of sonic wallpaper.

The one track I can’t do much but shrug about, though, is “Foxing,” closer to the EP’s end. The song comes off like a rewrite of Radiohead’s “Iron Lung,” swaying similarly from tentative-sounding, fragile passages to harder-edged, rougher sections. Unfortunately, by about halfway through it’s overstayed its welcome, dragging along and never really getting to anywhere in particular. I found myself checking my watch while listening, wondering when the band would move on to the next track. But hey, one out of six isn’t a bad ratio of clunkers to keepers, even on an EP.

Admittedly, Featherface’s sound can take the do-everything approach too far, with the end result being that it can be a little too scattershot, too unfocused to really work. It took me a few listens to fully grasp how awesome “A Youthful Offender” is, really, because at first the shifting, genre-skipping nature of the music threw me off. If you can hold tight, however, trust me: it’s worth it.

[Featherface is playing 11/18/10 at Super Happy Fun Land, along with SCHOOL, Whoarfrost, & The Caprolites.]
(self-released; Featherface -- http://www.featherfacemusic.com/)
BUY ME: BandCamp

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, November 17th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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4 Responses to “Featherface, It Comes Electric

  1. Featherface – First Reviews Of ‘It Comes Electric’ Make Us Blush on January 11th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    […] Comes Electric‘ has recently been reviewed by Jeremy Hart of the fantastic “Space City Rock”, Frank Soto of “Indie Houston”, and Adam Plato of “Indie Music Reviewer”. We found these […]

  2. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Paris Falls (Reviewed!) + The Suspects + Girls Rock Camp Benefit + Javelin + Featherface + More on March 22nd, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    […] one of the coolest of the crop of youngsters I’ve seen/heard lately. Read about ‘em here. And on a totally-unrelated note, the name “FootPie” is mind-boggingly dumb, and […]

  3. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: David Bazan + Rocky Votolato (MP3!) + Featherface + Dann Halen + Matt The Electrician (MP3!) + Miss Leslie + More on July 2nd, 2011 at 9:56 am

    […] the crap out of unsuspecting customers. The band’s celebrating the fact that their newest EP, It Comes Electric can now be found on the Cactus shelves, so get on out & celebrate with ‘em — added […]

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend: Venomous Maximus + Nitzer Ebb + Roky Moon & BOLT (reviewed!) + The Posies + Featherface + More on June 18th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    […] hey, there’s also the official EP release for Featherface, which is darn good (and reviewed here). Oh, and Arthur Yoria‘s second-to-last show in Houston is the same […]

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