The brainchild of four long-term friends and musical collaborators, FEELS got its start in 2014 -- although the group can trace its roots back much further. Laena Geronimo (guitar/vocals), Amy Allen (bass/vocals) and Michael Rudes (drums) formed their first punk band as teens in LA’s San Fernando Valley as an outlet for their high school angst and suburban ennui.
Fast-forward several years, and Laena and Michael had picked up another musical soulmate in the form of guitarist, vocalist and fellow Angeleno Shannon Lay. The stars aligned and sparks flew with Amy’s return, and FEELS was born. Without abandoning their raw punk background, FEELS has quickly progressed into exciting new sonic territory, balancing delicate vocal harmonies with piercing intertwined guitar leads and nervy, post-punk-inspired rhythms.
The band’s debut self-titled LP, recorded by garage rock auteur Ty Segall and released on John Dwyer’s Castle Face Records, established FEELS as a frontrunner in Los Angeles’ vibrant underground scene, while tours across both the United States and Europe rightly earned the group an international following of ardent fans.
For their sophomore album, FEELS enlisted the help of producer Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses, The Fucking Champs) to help capture their dynamic songwriting and magnetic instrumental interplay. The resulting record offers a deft display of carefully orchestrated juxtaposition, marrying siren-inspired vocals with aggressive guitar work, psychedelic freakouts with post-punk minimalism, the ferocious growl of Hole with the impassioned howl of X. The daughter of Devo founding member Alan Myers, lead singer Laena exhibits an innate ear for unique melodies informed by her eclectic musical upbringing. Shannon and Amy also contribute heavy-hitting yet delicate songs, and the three as electrified players bring out the best in each other’s creations. Michael keeps things interesting with a rhythmic arsenal that is at once playful and powerful, making this record a true collaborative effort.
Moving forward into 2018, FEELS continues to hone their sound and win over new audiences thanks to a tireless work ethos and a busy touring schedule. Although these lifelong friends have been making music together since childhood, this truly feels like just the beginning for FEELS.
(photo cred: Gina Clyne)
Hailing from the stucco-swathed suburbs of Orange County, California, Adult Books is a product of the region’s rich punk rock tradition. Friends and musical collaborators since high school, the band formed out of Southern California’s fertile DIY house show scene. Their self-titled 2012 debut EP (Lolipop Records, Burger Records) turned heads with its infectious melodies and sharp-tongued lyrical wit. It has since gone on to become Lolipop’s best-selling and most-pressed cassette. Subsequent releases from hardcore-leaning Vitriol Records and UK-based anorak pop imprint Box Bedroom Rebels speak to the band’s diverse set of influences and universal songwriting appeal.
Now based in Los Angeles, Adult Books operates in a liminal zone informed by both small-town ennui and urban isolation. Their first full-length LP, Running From The Blows (out March 4 on Lolipop Records) is a decidedly darker effort, although the band’s knack for memorable hooks remains stronger than ever. The album’s driving post-punk sound draws on the melancholy melodies of New Order, the shimmering guitar work of The Smiths and the nervy urgency of The Wipers. Alternating between sardonic and sincere, the tightly crafted lyrics strive for an emotional honesty even at their most ambiguous.
After a string of successful support slots for acts including FIDLAR, The Garden, Nu Sensae and Tijuana Panthers, as well as legends like OFF!, The Vibrators and Mike Watt, Adult Books has earned its spot as a standout in the LA music scene. A busy touring schedule for 2016 and a tireless work ethic based on musical perfection and progression are sure to solidify the band’s continued success on a national and international stage.