In the same year that their drummer died, the remaining members of Feeder have somehow managed to produce a fourth album. There’s a feeling with this record that it’s a tribute to the tragic Jon Lee, despite the unseemly rush onwards without him and the lack of any mention of him on the album sleeve.
Maybe some things are best left unsaid, or said in music, for the deeply personal lyrics in the majority of these songs are as poignant as they are accessible. From recent single Come Back Around to album closer Moonshine, Feeder show that their take on songwriting is, while mainstream, from the heart.
The standard of songwriting here from front man Grant Nicholas shows the oh-so-angsty way to the likes of British hopefuls Haven. But while the sonicscape is carefully made devoid of holes by the inclusion of that stalwart device of rock bands everywhere, the string section, the album as a whole is just a tad too anodyne for its own good.
Come Back Around – the stand-out track – dashes on at quite a pace, heading dangerously close to digitised nu-metal territory, while Summer’s Gone is a far more angsty, even angry, affair. Another obvious single choice is the anthemic Find The Colour. But much of the rest of the record sounds indistinguishable – from Just The Way I’m Feeling to Comfort In Sound there’s a plodding, work-a-day feel to it. Despite occasional production tricks it rather washes by unmemorably.
One can only guess at how a band copes when one of its members dies, particularly in the circumstances Lee did, and how the event influences songwriting and performance, so it’s hardly any business of anyone other than the band to suggest how they should behave. The album’s a progression on their previous work, certainly, but we can but hope that Feeder will take a few more risks with their next record.