Sponsored
Sponsored

FEELS work fast.

As in, the four-piece recorded its bruising self-titled 2016 debut in a single day. For its sophomore record, due out this fall, the band took its time and spent an entire six days recording in a studio in Grass Valley — an exorbitant amount of time by comparison.

But process matches content, and that’s not to say FEELS’ music sounds rushed as much as it does forceful, unapologetic, and driven. This is fully formed half-garage, half-punk, prone to melodic-pop moments even when the band delivers them at a breakneck speed. Not unlike contemporaries L.A. Witch or Death Valley Girls, FEELS are indebted to Wire, Richard Hell, and John Dwyer’s Oh Sees, audibly tapping into the California garage tradition with both the record’s melodicism and immediacy. (Producer Ty Segall’s fingerprints show on every scuzzy guitar lick and tidal wave of reverb.)

But it would be strange to expect a California garage band to avoid this tradition, especially one whose members are born and bred Angelenos weaned on Southern California’s DIY and punk scenes. But while those scenes have shifted and many of the venues that housed them shuttered in recent years — DIY venues are notoriously temporary — FEELS haven’t lost faith in the culture’s potential or longevity.

“The punk warehouses have always come, gone, and then reappeared somewhere else. The Smell is still The Smell,” frontwoman Laena Geronimo says. “The sense of communal support just keeps burning brighter.”

“I went to a generator show recently that was in the woods in the Angeles Crest forest,” bassist Amy Allen adds. “I hope to see more of that.”

FEELS’ optimism is hardly the norm in the discourse surrounding DIY and artist-run spaces in recent years, especially in the wake of the unanticipated venue closures that followed the Ghost Ship tragedy. But this optimism perhaps stems from FEELS’ overall positive attitude about making music and sharing it with others. Geronimo, a classically trained violinist, describes herself as “obsessed” with songwriting.

She’s not alone. All of FEELS’ members juggle side projects, musical and otherwise. Geronimo plays in Numb.er as well as a project with her boyfriend called Urgent Care, and writes her own solo work. Guitarist Shannon Lay recently released and toured on her own solo record, Living Water. Allen works as an apprentice knife-maker and designs a line of handmade chains called The Psycho Snake.

“The key to collective success is to maintain time for one’s individual needs,” Allen says.

“It takes the ego out of the room and allows us to combine our ideas without having something to prove individually,” Geronimo adds. “FEELS gets first dibs on all my best ideas, so it’s all good.”

Expect to hear those ideas on the forthcoming album and live on the coinciding tours. Piling into the van will be a return to order for the band that has yet to lose its taste for the road. (“Being on the road can feel a lot more sane than being home,” Geronimo says.)

“We’ve definitely had some adventures, from having to take insane back mountain roads in the middle of a heavy Pacific Northwest storm to that time I fell in a ditch in Spain,” drummer Michael Rudes says. “But it never ceases to amaze me how kind people are all over.”

FEELS, Monday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m., at the Independent, 628 Divisadero St., $22.50-$25; theindependentsf.org

Our Noise Pop Picks
From the host of the podcast, no less.

Noise Pop: Crooked Colours
What’s it like for a band’s members to live in three separate cities?

Noise Pop: FEELS’
The rising garage-punk quartet know where they come from.

Noise Pop: Jeff Rosenstock
New Year’s Day release POST- is a poignant and pointed protest album.

Noise Pop: San Fermin
The chamber-pop band is set to cast a spell with Magik*Magik Orchestra.

Noise Pop: Mount Eerie
Musician Phil Elverum confronts the death of his wife in a beautifully painful manner.

Noise Pop: Shamir
The 23-year-old wunderkind with the remarkable countertenor had a rough patch, but he’s back.

Noise Pop: Mister Heavenly
Doom Wop, a tropical rock storm.

Sponsored
Elle Carroll

Share
Published by
Elle Carroll
Tags: Feels Laena Geronimo Ty Segall

Recent Posts

  • All Shook Down
  • Music

Mitski Tables Talk of Her Farewell at Stern Grove Festival

If you haven’t heard, Mitski will soon be taking a break. Last month, the artist referred to an upcoming September…

16 hours ago
  • News

Loftus and Boudin Demand Police Accountability

Although it’s been years since their deaths at the hands of the San Francisco Police Department, the names of Mario…

17 hours ago
  • News

S.F. More Than Doubles Fees for Checkout Bags

Nine years after first instituting a 10 cent charge on bag fees, San Franciscans will soon pay 25 cents to…

18 hours ago
  • Slideshows

Paul McCartney at SAP Center San Jose on July 10, 2019.

Paul McCartney remained ever the showman with a three-hour, sold-out, performance at the SAP Center in San Jose on July…

21 hours ago
  • News
  • Top Stories

S.F. Commits to Emission-Free Transportation by 2040

Is it possible for all transit in the city of San Francisco to be 100 percent emission-free by 2040? That's…

22 hours ago
  • Slideshows

High Sierra Music Festival – 2019 – Quincy, CA

The 29Th HSMF drew in large acts such as Dispatch, Jim James, ALO, Greensky Bluegrass, and Umphrey's McGee. Some local…

22 hours ago