album review: be kind, unwind, feelings
Be Kind, Unwind is everything happy in the world. It is Sunday mornings, pancakes, walking out of a final exam, singing in the shower, decorating your house, breakfast in bed. It is all the pleasant things crushed together and welded into a catchy, upbeat album, brought to you by a trio of familiar rockers from Sydney known as Feelings.
Feelings was reborn from the ashes of the original Philadelphia Grand Jury, bringing Simon Berkfinger, Joel Beeson and Dan Williams back with a feet-tapping album that is bound to impress.
The first track of the album ‘Square’ commences with a bang, opening to the sound of drumsticks pounding together alongside a cheerful count up. It is upbeat with hazy guitar, heavy bass and cheeky hints of saxophone trickled in, immediately placing you in a good mood. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to dance around in your underwear like a bit of a dork – dance moves that should never, ever leave the house. ‘One In A Million’ is one of the catchier tracks of the album, donning a summery feel before transcending into fuzzy guitar and deeper drums.
Be Kind, Unwind counters its more upbeat tunes with slow, contemplative ones, with Berkfinger alternating between gruff and falsetto. ‘Square’, ‘One In A Million’, and ‘Intercourse’ are all standouts for their feel-good potential , each song sounding similar, yet completely different at the same time.
‘The one rule that we had when making this and collaborating with people is that we all wanted to get out of our comfort zone,’ says Berkfinger, on the making of the album.
Feelings are not that dissimilar to Philadelphia Grand Jury, so fans of the latter will be satisfied. Be Kind, Unwind has a very 90’s, garage-rock feel combined with a modern Split Enz/Simple Minds vibe. Hazy, fast guitars, old-school keyboard and howling falsettos are all trademarks of Be Kind, Unwind, which could certainly be an acquired taste. Lyrically, the album struggles for substance and unfortunately, falls back into clichés of failed relationships and good-looking girls.
An enjoyable album as a whole – energetic, cheerful and undeniably Philadelphia Grand Jury in disguise. This album will help you forget all of your problems for an afternoon. Put it on when you’ve burnt a cake or want to drown out the neighbours.