The Felice Brothers – Celebration, Florida

‘Yonder is the Clock’ was a pretty safe and boring record really.  I absolutely adore ‘Tonight at theArizona’ and then ‘The Felice Brothers’ was great because it felt like a step forward in sound, if not quality.  A fleshing out of the bones of the previous record to something bigger and different.  Then ‘Yonder is the Clock’ tumbled on in and kind of did nothing new.  Let’s play it safe was written all over that record.  And for that reason it really did disappoint.

This record, on the other hand, in no way disappoints.  It’s fresh.  It’s vibrant.  It’s modern.  It’s still The Felice Brothers but they’ve clearly decided to take a leap of faith and just have some fun with their sound (and their look!).  Push the boundaries a little.  See where it takes them.  For me it takes them on a journey that is thoroughly enjoyable.  Sure, the simplistic brilliance of tracks like ‘Hey Hey Revolver’ or ‘Wonderful Life’ may not be on show on this record but it identifies the band as willing to try something different.  Willing to adapt.  To change and to grow.  Too many people play it safe once they have a reputation and fan base.  Nobody can say that about ‘Celebration, Florida’.

This record kind of sounds like the band themselves felt that they had grown stale, predictable perhaps, and that they needed to embrace the madness a little.  It’s something Tom Waits did so successfully earlier in his career and the spirit of Island Era Waits is very evident on this album.

From the word go you know there’s something different on offer as the mad hoe down of ‘Fire at the Pageant’ batters your ears to attention.  The record is packed with industrial sounding percussion along with some pretty full on electronica, which sets it apart from its predecessors.  Songs like ‘Ponzi’ are brilliant in themselves but the samples and electronic techniques incorporated add a lovely change in pace to the bands sound.  Horns roar, drums clatter and what is created is a delight to the ears.  This is a band who have spent hours listening to certain records and realising that they were treading water with ‘Yonder is the Clock’.  It’s Americana.  Sure.  But it draws heavily from influences other than The Band, Dylan and co.  Yep, this is the sound of a band waking up and seeing the future and, if you ask me, that future is very bright indeed.  Sometimes you just have to stop writing though and let the music do the talking so check out the videos below.

You should check out Celebration, Florida here and enjoy the videos.


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