TITLE: Generation Freakshow
LABEL: Big Teeth Music
RELEASED: April 23rd 2012
The new album from Feeder arrived earlier this week and I have not stopped listening, since its release date. I think it is a really good album and features some songs with some big hit potential. For a band that have now been around for an amazing 21 years, it’s hardly surprising that Feeder are a band who just keep coming back with something amazing.
Generation Freakshow is the Welsh alternative band’s eighth album, succeeding 2010’s Renegades, which received mixed reviews. Singer Grant Nicholas has said of it:
“Its eclectic, much more eclectic than the Renegades album. Its definitely a more commercial record. I think if you liked Comfort in Sound and you liked Yesterday Went Too Soon, then I think you’ll like this album. There are some real tunes on this and some anthems; there are some rocky moments as well”.
Borders was the first single to be released from the album back in January and it’s a track that has gone under two other names, when they’ve played it live- Jessie and White City Rock. It’s a song about a young woman who knows that she needs to broaden her horizons but seems hesitant to do so, presumably in case it all goes wrong. It’s almost like the borders prevent her from doing so but she knows that she has to. The catchy melody make it a song that sticks with you and it does have an indie sound to it that isn’t too far from The Killers.
Children Of The Sun was released earlier this month and the ballad is another example of Grant’s vocal talents. His ability to adapt his style so quickly is something that has kept up the band’s success. It’s the sort of song you can imagine a crowd of hundreds waving their arms too, which I have no doubt that long-time Feeder fans will be but due to the type of Feeder songs that do well, I can’t see it doing as well as some of the other tracks on the album. It’s a beautiful song that you can drift off to, as is Quiet, which is another slow, mellow track but I’m not so sure that the majority of critics will agree with me.
The title track features a real indie tone and a signature guitar riff that will definitely circle around your brain for hours. Generation Freakshow suggests an anthem about craving for the unusual and weird but it’s actually a song about the frustration of the youth today, as Grant claims the title came to him while watching the news of the student riots last year, claiming “it seemed quite apt with all these kids causing chaos”. So, it’s about the state of our society today? Not overly creative but I guess it’s a universal problem that we’re all living through.
Feeder are known for catchy, guitar-led choruses and there’s certainly no shortage of them on this record. Idaho, Hey Johnny and In All Honesty all provide loud, stadium-filling drums from Karl Brazil, as well as the ever-popular rock vocals from Grant. All three tracks are songs that you can just jump around and freak out to, which everyone needs to do every once in a while.
Sunrise and Tiny Minds are both tracks, which are a little bit different. They both lean towards Feeder’s pop sound, which isn’t a bad thing but they do rock a lot better. Being Feeder though, they both have incredibly catchy choruses, which is what you want in a good pop song. Fools Can’t Sleep and Miles Away are another two songs, which stand out but these are a little more haunting. There’s something of an atmospheric tone about them and there’s a touch of Muse about these tracks too, which isn’t a bad thing and that could mean that they’d be perfect songs to play live to a diverse audience.
One of the biggest anthems on the record is definitely Headstrong, which begins with crazy guitars and strong drums before launching into Grant’s punchy vocals. It’s ideal driving music and the fast paced rhythm is definitely one for head-banging in your bedroom to. The refrain “Good times ahead” is an uplifting mantra for anyone to hear right now too. If it’s released, I really think that this is the track that could hog a lot of radio airplay and be played absolutely everywhere. Something to think about, guys?
It’s nothing new from Feeder and I’m not sure Generation Freakshow will win them any new fans but I think the record will hold its own amongst the current British indie giants. It has already reached number five in the mid-week UK album charts, which suggests that a band who have been around the block more than a few times, are still relevant to today’s rock followers.