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Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Lovelyville CD (album) cover


Thinking Fellers Union Local 282



3.91 | 3 ratings

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4 stars Thinking Fellers' third album, this is where the band's eclectic ambition all comes into focus, and provides the template for even greater successes to follow. Songs typically establish an indie-rock riff pattern that you can follow, and then they... do things to it. Three guitars all dive- bombing each other, sending the songs in new directions just as you start to get comfortable. Still, this might be their most accessible album, in terms of what you'd be likely to hear on a college radio station. It's no accident that many of these songs rank among fans' favorites. I'd like to focus on one of them here.

My absolute favorite here, and possibly my favorite TFUL282 song of all, "Sinking Boats". A distant vocal shouted through a megaphone sits atop a thundering rhythm of guitars and drums, playing a simple riff punctuated by little clangy guitar licks. Two verses of this, then WHOA! the song is somewhere else entirely, a quiet foreboding section of throbbing bass and plucked guitar notes. A few measures of this, and then a loud, dissonant riff (probably handled by at least 2 guitars playing different things) comes in. This pattern is repeated a couple of more times, the song stops dead, and then back into the thundering rhythms of the first song before coming to an abrupt end. Total time, just under 5 minutes.

I'm not a bad writer by any means, but that last paragraph just doesn't describe the experience that well. It's hard to put into words. I think the experience can be summed up better by two thoughts that some to mind: "How do they make guitars sound like that?" and "What possessed them to write that?"

The album has several similarly "whoa" tracks, but also contains its fair share of "Feller Filler", little teeny random snippets of rehearsal tapes usually highlighting a unique sound they happened upon. These are fairly disposable, but they do give their albums their own special character. There's also a sequence of extra non-LP tracks at the end (collectively called "The Crowded Diaper", a name I absolutely love), which are basically throwaways.

My third favorite Fellers album, some of their finest music and the first full flowering of their genius.

HolyMoly | 4/5 |


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