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The Beginning - EP

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Album Review

Count Features among the new generation of bands influenced by the Elephant 6collective; in essence, their music reflects and reconfigures a strain of classicist pop that was itself already a house of mirrors drawing on the British Invasion, sunshine pop, and more esoteric cult obsessions. Like fellow neo-revisionists the Shins, Features draw upon the basic E6 sound — indelible melodies, lush arrangements, and clever harmonies — but smooth out the approach with a cleaner, sharper production and tighter, more focused songcraft; over the course of just five songs and 15 minutes, The Beginning covers an impressive swath of ground, from the Elvis Costello-esque "Walk You Home" to the Ray Davies-like "Bumble Bee." (The title track even evokes Cloudland-era Pere Ubu.) Meanwhile, the lyrics consistently conjure images of childbirth and new life — and as concept records go, give Features credit for restricting theirs to EP length.


Formed: 1997 in Sparta, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Features are a psychedelic rock outfit that plays fresh, off-kilter pop that sounds like a head-on collision between Ray Davies and Elvis Costello with the Elephan 6 Collective picking up the pieces and putting them back together in the American South. Formed in the small, hidden town of Sparta, Tennessee, guitarist and vocalist Matt Pelham, bassist Roger Dabbs, keyboardist Parrish Yaw, and drummer Rollum Haas began playing their quirky and contagious pop as the Features around Pelham's colorful...
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The Beginning - EP, The Features
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