Thursday, 26 April 2012

Review: Feeder - Generation Freakshow

 If you've read anything on this quiet little music blog that really delves into my musical taste as a whole, you may have guessed that I was left in something of a state of despair and disarray when discovering that Atlanta stoner metallers Mastodon pulled out of this year's mammoth T in the Park. With an already incredible lineup, I have to say that seeing them would have been my highlight of the festival, the entire summer and probably all of 2012. But I'm continuing to look at things in a positive way. For example, Welsh alt rock giants Feeder are performing and given the performance on their eighth album Generation Freakshow seeing them is an incredibly exciting prospect.

While Feeder have ability to play massive packed venues and headline the 2005 Download Festival, there's still a prominent argument that they are an extremely underrated band. It's because they've always been regarded as that one-hit wonder band that had a massive song a few years ago but have gone away and not really done anything ever since. It's a little sad when really considering that they have as wide a back catalogue as they do and have made such a big impact and influence on the world of modern rock as they have, the people I know from school who also see them during their show at Balado Airfield in July and much of the other audience members will be doing so just so they can shout "Player-player-player!" and if we're lucky "I think we're gonna make it" when they play their mega-hit Buck Rogers.
 Generation Freakshow sees the band return once more with a blistering set of summery alt rock anthems that effortlessly have audiences singing along to the massive choruses on tracks like Oh My and Tiny Minds being songs with tender melodies and irresistable hooks.
 There's some criticism to rise from this obviously. Much of Generation Freakshow is well crafted for the kind of massive venues in which Feeder have so frequently managed to play. The simple verse-massive chorus-verse-massive chorus is a frequent occurance throughout the album, but when the melodies and power pop choruses play out to effortlessly reveal the strength that they have, you're most likely to find yourself being totally immersed within the life-affirming anthemic qualities that come with the likes of Borders and Generation Freakshow. As it pans out every song becomes a new favourite.
 There's also touches of lihter moments to support their enormo-stadium rock. The mixture of subtle and anthemic in tracks like Quiet and Fools Can't Sleep have a touch of Coldplay at their most charming about them. It's a blissful listenign experience, while some advancement in ability to create a genuinely gripping emotional song can be seen on Sunrise.
 However, the inclusion of thirteen songs on this album may have been a bit of an ask for the band. Things start to go a little downhill during the closing tracks Miles Away and Children of the Sun that proves that Feeder ahve given the best of what they have to give at this point and signs of blandness begin to appear. It's a little bit of a disappointing drag-along end to what is otherwise an album which is very much a rush of ecstacy.
 With the exception of that, Generation Freakshow is a very solid effort once more from Feeder. With a selection of strong stadium fillers, it's a style that we've come to know from the band bulked up to more exciting levels. I'm sure they can fit songs from this album into their T in the Park set. It would go down a storm.

 Feeder's Generation Freakshow is out now via Big Teeth Music. The band will play Play Fest at Eccles Hall, Quidenham in June, Isle of Wight Festival on 22nd June, T in the Park 2012 at Balado Airfield, Kinross on 6th July, Kendal Calling in July and will tour the UK in November.

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