Album Cover
The Features
The Beginning
March 16, 2004


Ah, yes. As we speak, spring is being ushered in outside my window. Here and there are mating birds, bees, and bunny rabbits. No, I'm not bitter. In fact, I'm very much pleased to soak up the seasonal transformation as The Beginning EP tromps through the short 18 or so minutes of playtime. The Beginning, self-released from The Features, is poised to become a genuine symbolic pin-up of what "rebirth" means. The complementing fact that spring is just around the corner only furthers the charm this band conveys in its garage-y pop sound.

The thematic elements of rejuvenation and renewal is conveyed not only in lyrical form but in the very sound The Features create. Sonically, The Features resurrect the organ rock of days past and mix it into a Kink-ish rehash of pop. Despite the revisionism, the sound is far from stale, in fact, it's quite refreshing this world of garage revivalist cliché. The band sounds like they could have been part of the Elephant 6 collective if it weren't for their more contemporary lyrical content.

Matthew Pelham, songwriter for The Features, furthers the "rebirth" concept in his recounting of child-rearing and birth throughout the disc. In "Stark White Stork Approaching" Pelham sings, "..there's only so much room inside a mother's womb/stuck inside a dream/hope it lasts forever/as long as we're together.../literally I see that stark white stork approaching." How very damn cute eh? That's right, they're so rockin' they can unabashedly write about getting in touch with the paternal instinct?

Highlights include the track "Walk You Home," which starts of with a thick driving drum rhythm and segues into the catchiest chorus on the album simply refraining "Hold your hand/hope I can/walk you home/walk you ho-o-o-ome." Did I mention there were horns as well? Well, you can already tell the feel-good 50's mantra is extremely present throughout the album. Pelham even finds room for the warm and fuzzy lyrics, "peachy keen" in one of the record's songs. The exuberant pop is, at times, extremely happy-go-lucky, as it should be for an album dedicated to the miracle (curse) of childbirth. If you're anticipating every Beulah, Spoon, or Cato Salsa Experience release, then drop this in your changer for a taste of the like. Did I mention there were horns?

Jacob Daley

Track List

  1. The Beginning (Week One)
  2. Walk You Home
  3. Bumble Bee
  4. Two By Two
  5. Stark White Stork Approaching
  6. The Way It's Meant to Be