May 6, 2014

MIDWEST NOSTALGIA: The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter - Self Titled (2014)

Are you having a nice day? Is the sun shining down on your face? Are kittens and rainbows dashing out of your ass and you feel like the whole world is a beautiful place and everyone is part of one global family? ARE YOU FEELING OKAY ABOUT THINGS?

Then meet The Feel Bad Hit of The Winter, a three-piece group from Kansas City that will make you feel nostalgic for virtually every past moment of your life, including the most mundane of them, like that time when you accidentally washed your teeth with shaving cream. Not even the best weed in this world will make you feel better after listening to this damn thing. They're also big fans of Queens of the Stone Age, as their name indicates. 

The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter reminds me of every coming-of-age movie I've watched in the months preceding my high school graduation. You know those montages that show random moments of one's life that we always dismiss for being too cheesy or tear-jerking, but we watch in private whenever we feel like shit? That's how this album feels. It'll leave such a bittersweet taste in your mouth that you'd wish you were a kid again, when you could easily solve that problem by taking a sip from a bottle of Gatorade and digging a hole in the backyard. It won't make you cry, but it'll surely bring you into that awkward mental state when you can't decide whether to cry and eject all the misery out of your system, or to stubbornly plunge yourself even deeper into the depression by munching nachos and watching Louie in your underwear for the remainder of the weekend. It's good, is what I'm trying to say.

The production is as lo-fi as you would expect from a garage album -  distorted guitars, vocals soaked in reverb and craaazy drumming. Although the album kicks off with the adrenaline rush of a track, Lend A Hand, it gets progressively slower and more experimental. The three minute long jam-a-thon, Chato,  is the perfect example on how to build a song in such a way that it tells its story through the power of sound and rhythm. Weirdly enough, that's also the biggest complaint I have with Feel Good - the vocals are, let's just say, not really on par with the instrumental work. It feels like they went out of their way to create this dark, almost cinematic atmosphere by piecing and polishing the instrumental aspect till exhaustion and they couldn't decide which way they wanted to go - fully instrumental or not. This issue becomes blatantly obvious once you reach Mind The Monsters, a track with which they might as well have taken the ''fully instrumental'' route - strewing an otherwise great instrumental with tiny bits of vocals makes it really distracting. It's not like the lead can't sing, don't get me wrong - it's more of a quantitative issue rather than a qualitative one. 

Still, Feel Good Hit of the Winter is a solid debut and it's surely worthy of your time. Just keep in mind that no matter how gloomy and depressing this album might get, it doesn't shy away from giving you a nudge and a friendly ''it's gonna be okay'' pat on the back. But don't worry, it'll still leave you with a general feeling of sadness inside.


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