Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Return of Glenn Mercer

I vividly remember the day I first heard The Feelies. It was 1989 and I was a sophomore in college working (ok..volunteering) at the college radio station. I used to gleefully pick through the stacks of "Promotion Only" CD's laying around the place. One out of every fifty discs was even worth listening to. One day I came across a brand new reissue of 1980s"Crazy Rhythms" by The Feelies. I had never heard of these guys before but something about that nerdy cover told me to check it out. To this day, it is one of my top 50 favorite discs. The Feelies were from Hoboken, NJ. They only released 4 albums between 1980 and 1991 that only music geeks and critics cared about. Their music was a bizarre blend of The Velvet Underground and Talking Heads with a focus on alternate rhythms and blissed out guitar solos. REM cites them as a major influence as well as many others. I was hooked on them and still am.
The Feelies-The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness

Of course when I heard that former Feelies singer-guitarist Glenn Mercer released his first solo CD in 2007, I was ecstatic. The disc is called "Wheels in Motion" and I've been addicted to it for about a month now. The whole thing has a subdued vibe to it but the jangly guitars, great solos, and Mercer's voice is unmistakably Feelies. In fact, Mercer used many ex-Feelies to perform on the disc but it never sounds like he's trying to recapture the days of old. It is a modern, forward sounding disc and shows that Mercer should continue making his solo work. The combination of the killer guitar work and great melodies keep me coming back to this again and again. Another big bonus for me is the guitar jammy cover of one of my all time favorites; The Beatles-"Within You, Without You". Give the opening track a listen and then go buy the sucker. You will thank me later...
Glenn Mercer-Days to Come

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