Feeder - Generation Freakshow
Feeder are unrecognisable as the band who delivered vigorous Brit-pop anthems like ‘Buck Rogers’ and ‘Just a Day’ last decade and eighth studio album Generation Freakshow lacks the raw energy which made them so easy to like back in the day. They now seem to be attempting to replicate the droning miasma of Coldplay rather than sticking to their own brand of quirky British rock.
There are only a few standout moments here, second track ‘Borders’ being one of them. Whilst this sounds more like Arcade Fire than I would like it to, the chorus is catchy as hell and the backing vocals are perfectly complimentary. In contrast, ‘Children of the Sun’ is a typical closing track - a six minute rock epic which leaps from stadium rock into a flimsy acoustic rhythm by the ending.
The gravelly pitch which was front man Grant Nicholas’ unique selling point has disappeared in favour of a mediocre tone laden with effects. Whilst not quite autotune, it still seems a shame to alter a voice which worked seamlessly with the Feeder sound. Nicholas sounds lost under the multitude of layers of computer trickery.
Generation Freakshow is more of a social commentary than anything Feeder have done before, yet it still feels like they aren’t saying anything new. Yes, we’re fucked - but everyone has been telling us that for ages. They have grown up, but unfortunately rather than ripening gracefully into musical maturity they have come out the other end as - and there is no other word for it - boring. Feeder are capable musicians that simply sound as though they’ve lost interest in creating music, making this an album too bland to fill stadiums to which they clearly still aspire.