I Feel Fine
The Cold in Every Shelter


3.5
great

Review

by nilsson USER (6 Reviews)
September 18th, 2021 | 33 replies


Release Date: 09/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Four heads, yelling today.

Group singing is an expression of community, creating a sound that prioritizes shared power over individual intelligibility. It’s an expression of consensus, shared feelings shouted through the air. On The Cold In Every Shelter, Brighton band I Feel Fine combine this collective approach to singing with signature math-rock instrumentation to create a pretty moving piece of work.

The hook of the album is the gang vocals. Nearly every lyric is sung as a group, frequently by the entire four piece. This choice lends the music a unique kind of urgency and communal feeling, but might make the record feel a little flat for some listeners. It’s kind of an ironic tradeoff, as the gang shouts can at times wash out the vocal dynamics and rob the words of some of their emotional intensity. In fact, it is the moments where the gang drops out and a lyric is sung with a single voice that the record is at its most potently memorable. Where another band might punctuate a lyric with volume or their own gang shout, I Feel Fine creates emphasis through clarity.

The band’s sound is strongly influenced by a muscular brand of Midwest emo, featuring flowing guitar lines paired with an energetic and lyrical rhythm section. There aren’t verses or choruses as such, rather ebbs and flows of intensity and stress. Several songs (“Elemenohpea”, “The Ladder”, knockout closer “Fold”) are built around stop-start dynamic patterns, as the band moves from raucous heaviness to airy beauty several times within a single song. This approach isn’t groundbreaking for the genre, but I Feel Fine executes it extremely well. If the band had less developed senses of dynamics, arrangement, and melody, the record would drag. Luckily they are usually right on the money. There are moments of real tenderness on The Cold In Every Shelter too, most notably the lovely acoustic track “Where The Clouds End”. On this song, the gang vocals feel more like a rustic choir than a shared shout of angst. It’s a welcome change of pace and a highlight of the record.

The lyrics on The Cold In Every Shelter are strong. The songs are largely concerned with self-imposed isolation and the dissolution of relationships. The record starts by asking “Why do we hide ourselves?”, and follows this question to its logical endpoints: you begin to feel empty and alone (“I work to sit around/Just another skeleton cluttering the closet”) and people begin to fall away from you (“Two heads stopped talking today”). They frequently rely on aphorisms (“We always know more of our monsters than ourselves” is my favorite), but when combined with the gang vocals, the aphorisms feel urgent and particularly true.

And that’s the real appeal of the album I think. It’s concerned with universalizing feelings of loneliness, turning difficult inner lives into something less isolating. There might indeed be cold in every shelter, but you don’t have to shelter alone.



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user ratings (37)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
nilsson
September 18th 2021


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Given their name, thought about doing some sort of tortured Beatles comparison at the beginning. Figured that would be ill-advised.

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2021


3061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This looks neat, will check. Nice review!

SlothcoreSam
September 18th 2021


3636 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Ooooh sweet, a review on my favorite gang vocal band. This album has some stand out moments for sure, but I agree, they need to have some lyrics, versus or even a chorus performed by just one member.

The music is great though, and at times reminds me of A World Is A Beautiful Place.....



Nice work nilsson.

Digging: Anthrax (UK) - Serfs Out

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2021


3061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was very good on first listen, certainly up there with the best emo/punk stuff I've heard this year!

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2021


3566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one of those band/alb names where i successfully guessed the genre within 2 seconds lol

sweet review nilsson, plz keep writing!!

nilsson
September 19th 2021


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, glad y'all enjoyed it!

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
September 19th 2021


3061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ugggh, this is so good... I'm not really sure the closer quite justifies its length, and also think the interlude tracks are a bit unnecessary, but other than that this is exactly what I want from this type of music.

SlothcoreSam
September 20th 2021


3636 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That rating is holding up nicely, and it's only nilsson who have it under 4.



Cormano
September 22nd 2021


2996 Comments


need to check

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
September 22nd 2021


3061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see this featured! Album's hitting the spot for me.

Dedes
September 22nd 2021


8045 Comments


Nice review my man! Sounds like something I'd dig. Mega pos

WatchItExplode
September 22nd 2021


9397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Interesting blend here. Good energy. I especially like it when they rock freeform like Keeping House, kind of sounds like Young Jesus.

nilsson
September 22nd 2021


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey thanks! Happy to see this got featured, really good record.

Lasssie
September 22nd 2021


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love the artwork and it sounds like my kinda thang so i`ll def check this

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2021


15763 Comments


Neat review, this is probably not my thing.

Digging: Obscura - A Valediction

Lasssie
September 22nd 2021


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First track reminds me of Youth Fountain. Nice

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
September 22nd 2021


3061 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Anyone enjoying this should give the band's 2018 EP a spin as well, it's quality and pretty similar in style.

Lasssie
September 23rd 2021


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I will add that to my list, good sir!

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2021


3566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is p great but the nothing-but-gangvox approach gets kinda grating at times/can feel like it's masking a lack of identity in that department

Lasssie
September 23rd 2021


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only listened to this once thus far but i can Your point

Yeah too much of one thing isnt always good



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