It can be a difficult prospect – reviewing an instrumental album.  You try to look for emotions and imagery without the assistance of lyrics to guide you along.  However, this album is not hard to sink your teeth into.  Glenn Mercer, the singer/guitarist of the legendary Feelies has released Incidental Hum, his first collection of instrumentals (and second solo album).  And this has nothing short of a great feel and a lot of motor.

Playing all the parts and taken from the germ of an idea, earlier on in Mr. Mercer’s career, he sought to do something unpredictable and experimental/improvisational.  In that manner, he has succeeded.  This could almost be taken for a soundtrack to an unreleased film; it has atmospherics, weirdness, power and a great deal of width that could fit any scene.  Case and point, “Twenty Nine Palms” has that spaghetti-Western vibe; a cover of Brian Eno’s “Here Come The Warm Jets” is given a fine treatment; “Kara Sea” is a balance between sound and percussion and “Mobile” just powers along.

This is one of those rare instrumental albums that I listen to repeatedly; more importantly, it’s one I’ve been listening to all the way through, from start to finish.  That should give you some indication of how good and solid of a release Incidental Hum is.

Incidental Hum is available now


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

View All Articles