Album Review: Feeder – All Bright Electric

All Bright Electric

Released: 7th October 2016

Words: Nick Jacques

feeder All Bright ElectricWhen I think of Feeder, it instantly takes me back to my GCSE days when I listened to Polythene on heavy rotation on my Walkman. Tracks like Tangerine and High were an important part of my teenage years. They were one of my favourite bands at the time and I’ll cherish those days forever. Yet when Buck Rodgers came out, I seemed to lose faith in them. That track catapulted them into the charts and super indie fandom. I thought they lost a bit of their mystique and their original sound was filled in with a sugar-coated, pop friendly sheen.

It seems like an age has passed since Feeder’s last outing Generation Freakshow. It came and went and although it chartered well, unfortunately it didn’t seem to gain them many new fans. However, Newport’s favourite sons have finally returned to our multi-colourful musical sphere from their 4 year hiatus with their 9th album All Bright Electric. If people are expecting a return to the innocent and care-free days of Buck Rogers and Seven Days In The Sun then I’m afraid you’re wrong.

Opener Universe Of Life comes as a big wake up call for both the listener and Feeder themselves. It’s served up with an atmosphere that is both uplifting and crunchy. It’s the sound of a band that is re-invigorated. The drums have a fresh pulsating feel to them too, giving Feeder a bit more of a gritty edge. Lyrically, there are darker shades, big themes are being explored; travelling to the stars to search out fears, telling us not to be fooled by foolish things. It’s compelling song-writing.

The track Geezer is a generous slice of immense riffs that breathes life into the strings. The production gives the band a dense sound coupled with epic drum fills; this shows a lot of depth and takes feeder’s sound into new and unexplored territory.

There definitely a new found urgency. For example the clattering chorus of Paperweight – consists of impressive drumming – I know I’ve already mentioned it but they add another heavier dimension to their sound but at the same time Feeder manage to retain their sound and undeniable accessibility which they will never shake off and should never do so either. Although it’s not in the same league as Buck Rogers.

Hints of Siamese dream-era Smashing Pumpkins greet us on Infrared-ultraviolet. It leaves a lasting impression and makes you want to dwell inside the expansive chorus. This album is testament to how far Feeder have come as a unit and all the traumas bands go through – Feeder sound more relevant than ever on this record.

Proceedings are tuned down a notch on Oh Mary. A Stripped back, haunting, acoustic intro that is sprinkled with glacial notes, and you could be forgiven for thinking that you’re listening to Feeder. This doesn’t resemble their usual bombast sound and it’s refreshing for the senses.

The quieter moments show that Feeder really still know how to write arresting and compelling music. The Impossible is a fine example of this. Its quiet/loud structure works to provide pleasing results which I’m sure all die-hard feeder fans will warm to relatively quickly.

Feeder may not scale the commercial heights of Echo Park again or the all-out fun thrills of Just A Day. This is a band who have been scarred but have come out the otherside more matured and stronger for the experience. All Bright Electric serves as a testament to what a band goes through in life and how the music acts like a strong elastic band that keeps all the essential elements together. Thankfully Feeder’s latest album does this in bucket loads.

Listen to All Bright Electric here:

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