I got turned on to this band by a cover of Louie Louie they did, and from there was pulled in by the Weezer-esque cover art of their debut album Crazy Rhythms. The Feelies certainly aren’t obscure, but they aren’t incredibly well known either, despite their influence on the rock scene.
The Feelies emerged in 1976 in New Jersey and played their own interpretation of a kind of post-post-punk, or proto-alternative if you want- the guitars are cleaned up, the vocals are softer, but there’s still a kind of restrained manic energy underneath the music that gets let loose to run around and throw rocks through windows on songs like “Fa ce-La”.
This kind of controlled intensity mirrors The Velvet Underground, The Clash, and others (Bill Million’s deadpan lead vocals could easily be mistaken for Lou Reed’s in some tracks). While they are certainly more easy-listening and not always aggressively experimental, they made the kind of music that you can pin down, at least now, as a moment when things started to change.