On their debut album, 1980’s Crazy Rhythms, The Feelies had it both ways: they looked like total nerds, what their preppy shirts, normal haircuts and not one but two guys wearing glasses.
But their music was weird and unpredictable: they often started with a couple of nicely strummed guitars, and usually ended up with a big ole rave-up with offbeat percussion instruments coloring the song throughout.
So a song like album-closer and title track “Crazy Rhythms” is barely a song at all, but more of an excuse to bounce guitars off of each other, which is why Glenn Mercer just rushes through the verses so they could get to the fun part — the rave-up!
Said rave-up starts with drummer Anton Fier’s (the future Golden Palomino, not the future Letterman drummer) just-crazy-enough drums marching in lockstep with bassist Keith DeNunzio, who holds down the fort while Fier just slightly messes with the beat.
Eventually Mercer and Bill Million come in with their guitars, picking and strumming against that beat and against each other. Sometimes one drops out, or the other picks it up and plays something new against the beat.
There are no guitar solos here — just two rhythm guitars that strum and churn and storm for a while. And strum and churn some more. And eventually they decide that it’s time to stop and let Mercer rush through the verses again one last time.
“Crazy Rhythms” live at CBGBs, 1978