From the very first note of Aerosol Ball, The Felice Brothers show their folk and indie roots. The stomping bass drum backing the polka driving accordion not only paints an image of an actual dance hall ball, but can also make THE listener envision these brothers as the subway performers they truly were years ago, before theY took the indie folk spotlight.
The title track of the album Life In The Dark is the most memorable track on the record, because what starts as a slow, mellow tune pops into a jubilant, folk dancing track as the drums and cymbals begin to shake, rattle, crash and jingle. The harmonies shouldn’t go overlooked on this song either because their vocal chemistry is the finishing touch to this memorable track.
The next song Triumph ’73 is a disappointment because it follows the same mellow, slow mood as the previous track, but there’s never a jubilant kick that gives the song more happy energy. The buildup at the end only further deepens the intense downer mood of the track.
Plunder is another highlight of the album as it’s the rockiest and rolliest song on the entire album. With simple songwriting structure, simple melodies and guitar riffs all that’s left is the effortless delivery from the brothers which they truly give one hundred and ten percent of on this recording.
It’s songs like Sally! which bring out the true sound and history of The Felice Brothers, a band of relentless and restless folk enthusiasts, strumming away at various acoustic and wind instruments. Something about this instrumental track also transports me to their subway performing days. They never gave up and believed in themselves and now their subway polka, indie folk sounds are stretching way further then within the confines of New York City Subway walls.
Scott J. Herman