With a career that has seen 3 decades, high profile tragedy and major success, Feeder need little introduction. This, their 9th studio album All Bright Electric, takes its title from a neon sign for a household appliance store Nicholas saw whilst on the way to the airport in New York.
It was recorded over 8 months at his home studio, with the express aim of making a record that stood up to modern rock without sounding like it. I can confirm that this was a success from start to finish and it is definitely a worthy addition to the band’s now burgeoning back-catalogue.
The album kicks off with the pre-released and luxuriously melodic, yet blisteringly heavy Universe of Life, followed by the equally brilliant Eskimo. From there it begins to transition into a lighter mood and eventually we end up languishing in the hypnotic, mid-album track Oh Mary before building things back up again with The Impossible and climaxing with the massive Hundred Liars. It’s all you could hope for from Feeder and more, the album simply goes from strength to strength with not so much as a sliver of a dud buried anywhere amongst its 11 track offering.
While you can never be 100% sure if you are listening to something as it was intended, to my ear, amongst the clearest of the lyrics, the album carries (anti?) religious and political connotations. In an abstract sense they seem to be probing and questioning, but Nicholas uses a lot of deflective imagery that makes it difficult to tell for certain exactly what he is really alluding to (without comment that is!).
Overall the album is well balanced and organic as per their aims. It is very much a stand out, powerhouse of a rock record that while quite different from their earlier efforts, is very much Feeder. The tracks each have their own individuality yet still manage to flow into each other with relative ease and yet, they maintain a handful of standout tracks that will make for some awesome singles (Universe of Life, Eskimo, Paperweight, Hundred Liars). The track listing and order has been well thought out and the tone, production and lyrics are thematic, so it is also very much an album in the old school sense. All Bright Electric is definitely one for Feeder fans old and new and doubtless, will help boost their following in the coming months and years. While I doubt any Rock music is truly timeless, this could be one album that features in many music collections for decades to come and is hands down, their best LP to date. Consequently it will definitely be featuring in mine.