‘The Way We Feel’ is a return to the music that gave birth to Sound of Seventy Three. Nearly half the album: A Farewell; The Great Rest; Ahh, Tow Bots; & Spilt Milk are songs that were gigged with the live-band back when Sound of Seventy Three were playing shows in the Atlanta area in the mid to late 00s as a two-guitar, bass & drums quartet. Some of the material on the album even dates all the way back to 2004. The other half of the album are mostly tunes that were written or started at that time but never finished or incorporated into the live sets. Only one song ‘Jyuu’ is a completely new composition which also has the distinction of being the longest track on the album. The result is an album that is sure to please old fans of the live-band as well as newer fans who have fallen in love with So73’s guitars-meet-gadgets approach to the last album. Unlike the first Sound of Seventy Three album which was essentially a collection of singles, the songs on this album were chosen specifically to fit together well stylistically but also to take the listener on a sonic journey when listened to together.
The album opens with ‘Shields’ (dedicated to Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine) which is rock minimalism at its finest. The whole song being a simple three note melody on one chord that slowly builds to a noise-filled shoegaze nirvana. The volume and the noise level drop with the restrained yet intense ‘A Farewell’ which features Doug’s distinctive use of the Ebow - an electronic bow that allows you to sustain a note on the guitar indefinitely. However things quickly ramp up again with ‘Variations’ which has a one-note bass groove that gives it an incessant almost bolero-like quality. This is followed by the loud-then-soft-then-loud-again dynamics of ‘The Great Rest’ where the melody is carried by the bass-guitar; a distinguishing feature of much of Sound of Seventy Three’s music. Next come two tracks that build gradually, each more intensely than the last. ‘The First Waltz’ starts with some gentle arpeggios and lap-steel volume-swells that slowly build until finally it climaxes with tremolo picked guitar, lap-steel, and Stylophone all playing the melody in unison. ‘You Say Today, I Say Tomorrow’ opens with a chiming guitar riff and beautiful melody to slowly build instrument by instrument, pedal by pedal, to an almost orchestral crescendo at the end. Things get calm and quiet again with ‘Jyuu’ both the longest track on the album and also the most ambient. This is followed by two tracks that again highlight Sound of Seventy Three’s distinctive use of the bass-guitar. 'Ahh, Tow Bots' - originally titled ‘Autobots’ - is an old favorite from the band’s live-set and features bass arpeggios played on an Agile Harm 1 Extended Scale Guitar - A Fender Bass VI style instrument that resembles cross between a bass and a baritone guitar. The track ends with that same bass playing full-on distorted chords toward the end. ‘Spilt Milk’ has the bass again handling the melody and sees a return of Doug’s distinctive use of the Ebow to add interest and tension to the melody. Finally the album ends with the gentle and relaxed ‘The Way We Feel’ where guitar and six string bass double one another playing chord-melody as a delayed Kaossilator adds a gentle rhythmic bed underneath.