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ALBUM REVIEW: Feeder – ‘The Best Of’

7/10

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Originally conceived as Reel in 1992; this brainchild of Grant Nicholas and John Lee would eventually become Feeder. With Taka Hirose, Feeder would release their first single in 1996 and go on to scoop 20 top 40 UK hits. Six of their 9 studio albums, including 2016’s All Bright Electric; would enter the top 10. All of these singles and all of their 9 studio albums; with the exception of Renegades (just 2 tracks), are well represented on this greatest hits release.

Throughout their career, Feeder has adapted to changing and difficult times. Feeder are not living in the shadows of their early years; when the band gained notoriety by appearing on the front cover of Melody Maker, which went out of print in December 2000. Feeder would also lose founding member John Lee; who took his own life in 2002. The band have also adapted to the age of digital downloads; accepting that there are alternatives to cd’s which can only be played on a CD (player, player, player, player, player, …). “Player” is repeated around 25 times each time on Buck Rogers; the band’s first top 10 hit which also reached number 1 in South Africa. Feeder boffins take note; this is a perfect question to test your knowledge.

With 50 tracks; the quantity of this album is impressive. It includes virtually everything from their last compilation, The Singles, in 2006; which in comparison has a meagre 20 tracks. The Feeder story did not end in 2006, 4 more albums followed; all entering the top 20. The highlights of all these albums have been included. Fans will not be disappointed. The acid test is how the new 9 track mini album, Arrow, included in this release stands up in comparison to the Feeder back catalogue. Seldom attention appears to have been paid to the synchronicity of these tracks. Figure you out, Walk away, Bees, and Veins, cover no new ground.

There are some gems including Sound of Birds, Arrow, Sirens and Landslide. Sound of Birds, teases with an all too brief Granddaddy A.M 180 style intro; before exploding with Pixies sounding raw riffs. This leads into Arrows; probably the most serious new song on this compilation. It reminds you of a darker, deeper, yet a slightly more up-tempo version of The Killers, Tranquilize ft. Lou Reed. Whilst some similarities cannot be ignored; it isn’t banal. Whilst some say that Punk-Pop is dead; Feeder has injected fresh blood into Punk-Pop’s veins on Sirens. A difficult task for Hirose at 50 and Nicholas on the cusp of turning 50 to undertake. Playout track, Landslide, is perfectly placed on this greatest hits album; combining the best bits of Foo Fighters, All my life and Papa Roach’s M-80 (Explosive Energy Movement) raises adrenaline (and possibly palpitation) levels to an all-time high; leaving listeners wanting more.

Feeder’s work ethic cannot be questioned. Nicholas claims the only time he has had off has been to work on solo projects. With a 2018 tour and hints of potentially releasing another B side’s collection (their last was released in 2004); Feeder are here to stay.

Michael Barron

MICHAEL BARRON first began writing whilst studying at university; reviewing the latest releases and live gigs. He has since contributed to the Fortean Times as well as other publications.Michael’s musical tastes vary from Indie to psychedelic, folk and dubstep.
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About Michael Barron (5 Articles)
MICHAEL BARRON first began writing whilst studying at university; reviewing the latest releases and live gigs. He has since contributed to the Fortean Times as well as other publications. Michael’s musical tastes vary from Indie to psychedelic, folk and dubstep.
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