Welsh rock heroes Feeder have formally announced their ninth studio album All Bright Electric
And they’ve debuted a brand new track from that record in the shape of ‘Universe of Life’.
But hang on. Aren’t Feeder that old band we used to like in the noughties, that sang about CD players, brand new cars and drinking cider from lemons?
Well, yes you would be right in saying that. But Feeder are far more than just ‘Buck Rogers’, and are actually one of the most well-rounded, most respected bands in Welsh music history.
All Bright Electric is the band’s first album in four years, so is something of a comeback.
Speaking personally, this is a band who have been with me through 20 years of growing up – through school, university and finally in to adult life – so I’m taking this comeback seriously.
Here’s why you should too.
They’ve triumped over adversity
Back in 2002, tragedy struck when drummer Jon Lee committed suicide.
It was my first real brush with celebrity death, and in a time before the internet, details were scarce for a good while after the fact. It ate me up.
I can only imagine what the surviving members must have gone through.
Thankfully Feeder continued, and returned with Comfort In Sound, mellow and more reflective than before for obvious reasons, but still producing incredibly written songs.
There’s something for everyone
In the years following Lee’s death, Feeder continued in their more mellow guise for a few more albums, and fans getting in to the band at the time could’ve been forgotten for assuming this was all the band knew; slow, tender music that bordered on the anthemic.
Far from it.
Feeder started as an out and out alternative rock band – more Smashing Pumpkins than Coldplay – and their earlier albums (try debut Polythene for some overlooked grunge classics), hit as hard as any 90s rock band could.
Recent records have seen a slow shift back to rockier pastures, and on the basis of ‘Universe of Life’, this is set to continue with All Bright Electric.
They’ve done everything
But that’s still not to give Feeder their full credit, as they’ve existed in spaces between grungy early records and their mellow noughties run.
1999’s Yesterday Went Too Soon landed at the tail-end of Britpop, and was about as post-Britpop as you could get, melding Bends-era Radiohead with bright guitar work, and even a few veritable pop-punk bangers (‘Insomnia‘, ‘Waiting For Changes’).
And it’s no surprise Echo Park was their breakthrough album in 2001, featuring as it did some unashamed pop-rockers that have since gone on to be veritable indie-disco classics.
They’ve been around the block
Feeder originally formed in 1992 in Newport, under the name Reel.
That’s nearly 25-years that they’ve been in the game, and by now it’s pretty apparent they really know what they’re doing; they’ve got this whole ‘music’ thing down.
They’ve seen it all
In that 25 years of existance, Feeder have pretty much seen it all.
From their formative years at grungy club shows, to their early noughties height appearing on Top of the Pops and selling out tours at larger venues like the Astoria, and a return to a slower, though surely just as rewarding late career, they’ve experienced just about every level it’s possible to be at.
And the stats don’t lie: they’ve spent a total of 180 weeks on the singles and albums charts combined, and accumulated 25 Top 75 singles between 1997 and 2012.
Thier new album might just be their best yet
We might be seeing Feeder taking on a full return to that grungier, more alternative sound they debut to the world 20 years ago, and that’s a great thing.
Speaking to the NME, frontman Grant Nicholas said:
“I wanted the album to really capture Feeder’s heart and soul. For us the journey the music takes the listener on is still so important, and that is what still drives me to make the best music we can.“Recording ‘All Bright Electric’ felt as exciting as making our first album ‘Polythene’,” he added. “I hope people enjoy this record as I think it’s our most complete to date.”
They’re probably playing near you
Even with all these years behind them, Feeder continue to be a hard working band, and an extensive tour schedule announced just a few days before the album seems to be calling in to just about everywhere.
No doubt Feeder will be playing near you this October. So swat up on all the old albums (they like to slot a lot of greatest hits in there too), study All Bright Everything when it comes out, and get yourselves down to your nearest show!
The full list of tour dates is as follows:
September 28: O2 ABC, Glasgow
September 30: Loopallu, Ullapool
October 1: University, Newcastle
October 3: O2 Ritz, Manchester
October 4: O2 Institute, Birmingham
October 6: UEA, Norwich
October 7: Lemon Grove, Exeter
October 9: Beckett University, Leeds
October 10: O2 Academy, Bristol
October 12: Roundhouse, London
October 13: Pyramids, Portsmouth
October 14: Rock City, Nottingham
October 16: Academy, Dublin
October 17: Limelight, Belfast
October 19: Tramshed, Cardiff
All Bright Electric is released on September 30. Pre-order it here.