Full Circle

Dead Feathers

DEAD FEATHERS is a Psych Blues Rock band from Chicago. America’s answer to BLUES PILLS.
November 17, 2023

DEAD FEATHERS is a Psych Blues Rock band out of Chicago. They formed in 2014, released their self-titled debut EP in 2016 and their first full-length, “All Is Lost,” in 2019. On September 22, 2023 (they couldn’t wait one day to hit 09/23/23?), they issued their sophomore LP, “Full Circle” via Ripple Music. Quick band overview: Vocals like an icy Grace Slick; drums like a jazzy Keith Moon; groovy riffs like GRAVEYARD; and lyrics like a Thoreau essay. They may be America’s answer to MAIDAVALE or even BLUES PILLS. I completely love them, and you should too.

The two most distinctive features of DEAD FEATHERS are Marissa’s vocals and the fuzzy guitar work of Tony and Tim. The dance they express will set you on a trip back to when black light posters and lava lamps were requisite furnishing for any self-respecting bohemian. And if that was before your time and you have never seen Austin Powers, well, I’m sorry for the exclusion. And speaking of exclusions, I didn’t mean to ignore the rhythm section of Rob and Joel—it’s as groovy as it is tight, with their impact sinking in and saturating rather than slaping you outright.

Full Circle” is only seven tracks long but spans an impressive 41 minutes. Considering that one track, “One Year Before the Island,” is less than two minutes, it means the rest approximates Prog proportion . . . but rather than precise and technical, it is exploratory and wandering. Case in point is the opener and title-track. This song not only showcases a helluva performance by Marissa, but also some stunning solo work by Tony, just taking us for a long ass ramble into the desert. 

Where “Full Circle” (the track) is meditative, the second track, “Lightening,” punches like its namesake. Here we see the livelier side of DEAD FEATHERS, and it’s a good side indeed. And because two gears are never enough, the band finds a third with “Daughters,” a moody, bluesy tune that finds its torque as it nears the end. 

The album is divided neatly by the aforementioned instrumental “One Year Before the Island.” This isn’t to suggest that both sides have a distinct atmosphere, the band’s style is far too fluid for that, but the instrumental does afford a nice interlude. I imagine in a live performance this is when Marissa is downing hot tea and lemon.

Side two kicks off with “Swell,” a track that grows and recedes like a tide. Following is “Robbery” which starts off with a fist full of angst then shifts to remorse and maybe accusation. The album concludes with the epic “Galapagos,” a wistful glide over glade and isle.  

Full Circle” witnesses the arrival of a long-missed band. Yeah, there was Covid and all the rest of it, but I could have used a dose of DEAD FEATHERS more than a vaccine booster. Have they come full circle, as the title suggests? I’m sure there’s a story behind that. Musically this band is moving in a straight, solid line upward. Good stuff, this one.

10 / 10

Masterpiece

Songwritting

10

Musicianship

10

Memorability

10

Production

10
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"Full Circle" Track-listing:

1. Full Circle

2. Lightning

3. Daughters

4. One Year Before the Island

5. The Swell

6. Robbery

7. Galapagos

 

Dead Feathers Lineup:

Marissa Welu – Vocals

Tony Wold – Lead guitar

Rob Rodak – Bass

Tim Snyder – Rhythm guitar

Joel Castanon – Percussion

 

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