The Features – Some Kind of Salvation

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

The Features fell on hard times pretty quickly. After 2004’s excellent Exhibit A, they were dropped by Universal and self-released second album Some Kind of Salvation did not emerge until 2008. In the interim, Parrish Yaw left the band and they added keyboardist Mark Bond. They eventually signed onto the label run by Kings of Leon, which rereleased SKOS in 2009. Since then, they have released three more albums but have been quiet since 2016. It’s a sad story for a band with so much promise. I haven’t checked out the later albums, mostly because they are hard to find. But just because everyone else moved on doesn’t mean that I had to. I’m sorry, the Features. I’ll do better by you.

What I Think of This Album

This album sort of betrays the difficulties the band faced after the delight that was Exhibit A and the putative success story that saw them rise from Sparta, Tennessee onto the roster of Universal. Perhaps it’s coincidental but song titles like “Off Track,” “Still Lost,” “Foundation’s Cracked,” “The Drawing Board.” The Gates of Hell,” and “Whatever Gets You By” more than hint at unhappiness. More to the point, the band also sounds like they’re working more and having fun less. This is a far less joyful album than the debut, even if the foursome try to mask it. 

If you come into the album clean, though, you still end up with a strong set of tunes, often presented in an original manner. The sea shanty feel of “Whatever Gets You By” quickly morphs into the hard R&B stomper “The Drawing Board.” I don’t care for “GMF (Genetically Modified Fable)” but it has an interesting new wave sound. Even more compelling is the bleepy “Concrete,” which could’ve easily been a Depeche Mode deep cut from 1987. And it’s hard to deny the appeal of anthemic “Off Track” and powerful closer “All I Ask.”

Sometimes there are similarities to the vocals of Hamilton Leithouser (the Walkmen) but the sound here is friendlier and much less abrasive. To that end, the music sometimes brings to mind Spoon, especially on “Foundation’s Cracked,” “Wooden Heart,” and “The Temporary Blues.”  

Newcomer Mark Bond does a great job on the keyboards, and bassist Roger Dabbs shines throughout. Production was handled in part by Jaquire King (Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, Clinic).

The Best Thing About This Album

“The Temporary Blues” is pretty fucking great!

Release Date

June, 2008 (self-release)

The Cover Art

The vegetables kind of freak me out. I’m assuming the art reflects the song titles:  “GMF,” “Lions,” and “Baby’s Hammer.” There is no good reason for that. I can’t tell if I have the self-released version or the subsequent version.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑