The Feelies will not be the Velvet Underground’s first disciples—Jonathan Richman was there on the inception, tailing the band with the fervor of a Deadhead. However it might be argued that the New Jersey establishment, led by Glenn Mercer and Invoice Million, is chargeable for a lot of the indie rock that flowed downstream from the Velvets. Loopy Rhythms, the Feelies’ 1980 debut, bristled with a confined nervous power because the band introduced the downtown improvements of the Velvet Underground to the suburbs, an aesthetic that grew to become a part of the lingua franca of guitar-pop for the following many years.
The Feelies’ new album, Some Kinda Love: Performing the Music of the Velvet Underground, captures a efficiency held along with the touring exhibition “The Velvet Underground Expertise” throughout its New York Metropolis run in 2018. Establishing store on the White Eagle Corridor in Jersey Metropolis, the Feelies invited fellow Velvets fanatics Richard Barone and James Maestro of the Bongos to hop on stage, then proceeded to tear via a set that sidelined the avant garde escapades of the Velvet Underground to focus squarely on their strengths as a rock’n’roll band.
Rightly celebrated as a key act within the delivery of transgressive rock, the Velvet Underground additionally had a candy undercurrent flowing via their often abrasive music. A few of this may be chalked as much as Lou Reed’s enduring love of doo-wop and R&B, an affection that grounded the group at the same time as they floated far afield on waves of noise and atmosphere. As a band, the Feelies don’t fairly share the identical R&B affinity, but they hone in on that heat, intentionally sidestepping the ominous dread of “Heroin,” the cacophony of “Sister Ray,” and the poignant disappointment of “Pale Blue Eyes” to allow them to play songs that collectively sound like a celebration.
The Feelies favor no specific period of the Velvet Underground on Some Kinda Love, balancing choices from the group’s early years with John Cale with songs initially sung by Doug Yuletide, Cale’s alternative within the Velvets. It’s a holistic view of the band that locations an emphasis on songs that sound nice throughout the confines of a membership. Essentially the most telling choice could also be “Head Held Excessive,” a rocker that opens the second aspect of Loaded—the final album Reed made with the group—and the second the place Some Kinda Love kicks into excessive gear: It’s a tune with no increased that means than being an actual good time, which is exactly what the Feelies intend to ship.