Song of the day (the old and the new) – 12. Feature and Life Without Buildings

Interesting. The sound on this video is far superior to the sound in my iTunes library. More vibrant, incisive – particularly the vocals. There again, I am on record as stating I think the sound of the early American (mongrel) versions of The Beatles’ albums is far superior to the sound on the (original) British versions: far brighter, and in your face and POP.

This is excellent. Gets going, goes, keeps going, and stops, and throws in a couple of rudimentary harmonies along the way. Can’t ask for more. The song reminds me of two bands: Newtown Neurotics (a slightly off comparison this) and Lush. The quote for the theatre billboards reads, “This is what I always wanted Lush to sound like” but there is so much wrong with that statement I am not sure I should even bother to unpick it. First, insulting to both bands. Second, it was up to Lush what they sounded like. Third, 20 years separation is way important. Fourth, Lush weren’t that sort of band. Fifth, neither are Feature. Sixth, comparisons always fall down whenever you examine them in any detail. Seventh, this. Eighth, this. Also, the song reminds me of three bands. Feature, being the other band.

Feature thud, and do not care who experiences it. Feature are instrumental cherubs and like to get straight in there among the plaintive guitar lines and bass runs, and THUDS (c.f., in particular, ‘Feature Theme’ which is a Batman theme for disaffected, alienated, lonely, unfit 56-year-old beardy sweaty white males… uh, too much information). Weirdly, the bass on this song also recalls the work of the great Stuart Moxham. I say weirdly, because the context is totally different. I say totally different but of course this is all music – and rudimentary, minimal music at that. I think I need to stop living in 1981, or if I am going to live in 1981 I need to start remembering it. Anyway, the rest of the album is totally aces: invigorating and insistent and intricate and oddly beguiling. Marvellous stuff. I also note that, it being their debut, and these being the times they are, the band have already split.

I mean Tsunami.

This is a shame, trust me.

I mean Against Interpretation.

I mean Life Without Buildings (once again I do not aim to be dismissive or slick or glib but I find that I am). Painting, not singing. There is a song on the one and only one Feature album (‘Gatekeeper’) that is equal yet different to this. And that is great praise.

And so on.

At the core of all great music critics is a fangirl.

Here. Here it is again.

“Start your story as close to the end as possible” – Kurt Vonnegut

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2 Responses to Song of the day (the old and the new) – 12. Feature and Life Without Buildings

  1. Eric Jarvis says:

    Sometimes I can remember so little of 1981 that I begin to worry that the entire year may have actually been an elaborate hoax. Anyway. Why didn’t anybody tell me about Life Without Buildings while they were still about? I’ve been badly let down. 😦

  2. Anonymous says:

    “He’s the shaken baby”. High praise and a good read.

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