THE FEEL BAD HIT OF THE WINTER - The Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter (EP)
It shouldn’t be too hard to be signed by a label, if the guitarist and vocalist of your band is also working at the record label, but in the case of Kansas City indie rock trio, that would be a most unfair statement.
Their self-titled EP comes with six tracks and a proud sense lo-fi aesthetics that should appeal to everyone who loves early Nineties indie rock. I feel reminded of the gnarly sound of Guided By Voices’ early material. The Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter may not yet have the same amount of smash hits as the Ohio lo-fi pioneers back then, but are certainly more refreshing than the ageing yet still prolific band’s current catalogue.
The EP begins with Lend A Hand, where the overall production may not be too perfect. The initial guitar intro sounds too scratchy, the drums feel a little shaky in the mix, although the vocals are fine, and especially the kinetic bass playing reminds me not only a little of the Who’s John Entwistle. Smile comes with a less distorted sound and shows off the more melodic side of the band, and I can assure you they manage that one just as well. The first half ends with the short instrumental Chato, another winner although one keeps wondering why the trio chose to insert a vocal-less tune so early on in the EP.
The second half starts with the nearly six minute long Mind The Monsters, a very moody track with more variation than what preceded it, even though it might be lacking the dynamic rush of the band’s faster material. But do not worry, as So Far No Good is increasing the pace again. The main melody may still be rather mid-tempo, but the drums are occasionally doubling the speed, giving this track a pleasant punk vibe. The concluding Sleepwalking is a catchier track that Ohio’s finest would have been proud of.
When all is said and done, after twenty-three all too short minutes, one is left with the impression that there is a huge amount of talent bubbling under the surface, just waiting to be left loose. This first appetiser is very tasty indeed, and once the band finetunes their sound, without giving up the lo-fi attitude of course, they might be considered the best new band in American indie rock. I was very pleasantly surprised!