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Feeder - Renegades

Feeder, Renegades

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

FEEDER’S seventh studio album is one of their loudest creations in ages. An unashamed throwback to the band’s heavier early sound, it’s a rock monster that’s lively but also somewhat one dimensional.

Grant Nicholas and bassist Taka Hirose are, for me, better when mixing things up and throwing in moments of subtlety to offset their power. It’s what makes albums such as Pushing The Senses so memorable.

Having recruited new drummer Karl Brazil into their armoury, however, Renegades is more akin to their sixth studio effort, Silent Cry, and arguably slightly weaker for it.

That said, Nicholas does continue to underline his ability to marry a keen melody with a power hook, as in the anthemic piledriver Call Out.

But while there’s still plenty to enjoy, particularly for the band’s earliest followers, a little more variety would have gone a long way.

On the plus side, there are some notable songs and the album only clocks in at half an hour, making it short, sharp and punchy… rather than something that outstays its welcome.

Title track Renegades is a cracking effort, dropping some provocative lyrics (“if I was a prophet, if I was a saint… would I be different”) and some impressive guitar work, while Sentimental carries the type of potent power riffs that stand alongside the big American acts like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. There’s a grungy feel married to that radio friendly side to the band.

A notable “woo wey hooo” sounds the rallying call for the mid-tempo slow-builder Down By The River, another highlight, which cheekily soundchecks their back catalogue, while remaining forward thinking. It capably demonstrates Feeder’s long-held ability to mix power with grace.

But sometimes, particularly late on, they just seem to be trying too hard to rock out and rediscover their ‘childhood’, as with the relentless, punk-infused Home and its similar sounding Barking Dogs – a gap between the two would have been nice, rather than having two songs that sound the same.

They finish the album with a similarly incendiary offering, The End, as if to ensure that any cobwebs that remain are completely blown away… but, again, there are too many structural similarities to the likes of Home, which only underlines the one dimensional nature of the album as a whole.

As much as we like Feeder, it’s disappointing to have to conclude that Renegades is something of a disappointment from them. It has its moments, but there’s simply not enough of them.

Download picks: Call Out, Renegades, Down By The River

Track listing:

  1. White Lines
  2. Call Out
  3. Renegades
  4. Sentimental
  5. This Town
  6. Down By The River
  7. Home
  8. Barking Dogs
  9. City In A Rut
  10. Left Foot Right
  11. The End