After more than 20 years together as a band, Feeder return with their eighth album, Generation Freakshow. The band now officially operates as a duo after different drummers taking the place of original drummer, the late Jon Lee. Feeder's most recent albums have seen a return to a sound that resembles more of the original sound found on debut album, Polythene.
Generation Freakshow sees that sound shine through as these are some of Feeder's most rocking songs in years. One of the highpoints of the album is Idaho. This track sees Grant Nicholas in a reminiscent mood as he sings about the band's time touring the USA supporting one of the country's rock mainstays Everclear. Idaho features Nicholas' traditional great hooks paired with his crunching guitar work; hopefully, a future single for the band.
This is possibly one of Feeder's most consistent albums for track quality since Comfort in Sound. The album tracks stand on their own merit alongside the singles. Children of the Sun represents their most radio friendly single since the releases from Pushing the Senses in 2005. Feeder are now at a point where they are able to release a single that will gain them radio airplay but their more recent albums are probably more for their hardcore fans who have stuck with them over the years.
Title track, Generation Freakshow, is another slice of buzz-saw guitar work from Nicholas similar to Smashing Pumpkins. The opening riff sounds like Zero from Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness. Taka Hirose is also in fine fettle on bass guitar. The drumming duties on the album were, again, provided by Karl Brazil.
If any track sounds like Feeder's early work, it is Tiny Minds. This is a guitar chugging track which features some of Nicholas' best vocals and playing on the entire album. It sounds like a time portal from 1995, when alt rock was peaking, has been opened and a song from that era has come through to 2012. But it somehow manages to sound current and reflect where Feeder is. One of the most energetic tracks on the album is Headstrong. This is a song to trash the house with frantic drumming and Nicholas absolutely wringing the neck out of his guitar.
They possibly won't scale the heights that they did in the mid naughties but after being through the mill so much, it is great to see Feeder still having a wealth of creativity to share with listeners. Genration Freakshow outstrips Silent Cry and Renegades simply to consistently great quality of the tracks. To a certain extent, Feeder know what their niche is and that is what makes these 40-odd-year-old men rock harder than kids half their age.
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