The Features stand accused of being a rather good blues rock act from Tennessee. The prosecution case, based on ‘Exhibit A’ and live dates supporting (and sometimes upstaging) the Kings Of Leon, is overwhelming.
Opening with the raucous title track, singer Matt Pelham’s refreshingly impassioned voice veers between distressed wail and crooked croon.
Recent single ‘Blow It Out’ is as radio friendly as they get, yet it’s also one of the more forgettable on the album, meandering as it does between quiet verse and loud chorus in a pleasant but unremarkable way.
‘There’s A Million Ways To Sing The Blues’ picks up the pace again, with Pelham sounding a little nearer to the edge. The closer to the abyss he gets, the better The Features are.
Drummer Rollum Haas’ skin pounding is similarly deranged, as though he was in a hurry to get out of the studio. Anybody who took in their recent dates will also be able to testify to his undoubted talents.
Buried somewhere beneath the thrashing and wailing, organist Parrish Yaw kicks out some rather agreeable melodies. But agreeable isn’t really a word you should use to describe life affirming music, and this record isn’t going to change the world as we know it.
Granted, few do, and there’s a lot to like here. It’s undoubtedly a solid debut, but you get the nagging feeling that there’s plenty more left in their tank. Oh, and ‘Leave It All Behind’ sounds like an old Peugeot advert.
Verdict? Guilty as charged.
7Rob Webb's Score