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Feeder - Silent Cry

This is a review of the album Silent Cry by Feeder.

Feeder

Tracklisting:

1. We Are The People
2. Itsumo
3. Miss You
4. Tracing Lines
5. Silent Cry
6. Fires
7. Heads Held High
8. 8.18
9. Who's The Enemy
10.  Space
11. Into The Blue
12. Guided By A Voice
13. Sonorous
BONUS
14. Yeah Yeah
15. Every Minute

I really like the new Feeder album, Silent Cry. It's taken note from previous albums Comfort In Sound and Pushing The Senses, borrowed some epic grandeur from Muse or Coldplay and added that with some really dark, and really hopeful lyrics and riffs.

It starts off with first single We Are The People, a loud and powerful call to arms. Whilst it is a good tune, I wouldn't have selected this for use as a single, nor would I choose it as the opening track - but it works I guess, as a way to let people know that this is Feeder's new direction. 

Moving on, the second track Itsumo is probably one of my favourite Feeder tracks of all time (the previous mantle being held by both Shatter and Burn the Bridges). It's got a catchy little intro, and nice sounding vocals, and then kicks into the chorus, which is just bloody brilliant. I've listened to this album a lot in the past few weeks, and haven't really listened to the lyrics much. I'm just absorbing the whole song before I do that, and as such I really have no idea as to what "Itsumo" actually is. But anywho. I digress. 

Do I really need to say anything about Miss You? This song was released by Feederweb to show people just how much Feeder had changed. I listened to this and it single-handedly changed my life. When I heard Lost And Found(the first single from their Singles album) for the first time after Pushing The Senses, I was amazed, as it was different from their previous stuff, and still Feeder. It hit me. In a good way. Miss You hit me, but instead of a friendly dig to the arm, it hit me in the stomach, a powerhouse of a drive which caused me to cough up what was left of my liver and other organs and collapse into a bloody heap, bent double and unconsciously humming the tune responsible - knowing you're in great agony, but more ecstatic than that time a young Britney Spears came up to you and offered to put her mouth to your microphone. Miss You is loud, ferocious, and completely unlike anything they've done before. And it's frakking amazing. Catchy drumming, loud guitars and heartfelt lyrics. Beautiful stuff. 

One thing I've always liked about Feeder is that, unlike most major label bands calling themselves "indie" based on a sound, they are actually signed to an independent label, and are not afraid of distortion. I know it's indie cred and crap like that, but why do we now have a plethora of terrible bands too afraid to differentiate from the "clean" setting on their amps? I say, crank up the noise. 

On saying that, Tracing Lines is up next. That's a funner tune... I worry that Feeder have begun to take themselves a little too seriously. Look at Polythene, their debut album, where the song Cement was written about a stalker's fascination. Or Seven Days In The Sun from Echo Park. Great tunes for dancing, and about absolutely nothing serious about them. Come on guys, lighten up. 

Which Tracing Lines certainly is. Light and fun. Nicely flowing verses, and a fantastic chorus line (think the doo-doo-doo-doo-doooooooooooo) in Shatter). And hark! A solo! Brilliant. I'd still use Miss You to get me up in the morning, but I'd use Tracing Lines to wind down before bed time.

And speaking of winding down... well, that's the last thing you want to do upon listening to the epic, grandiose, spectacular masterpiece that is the title track. Silent Cry may start off fairly unassuming, with Grant Nicholas singing along with his guitar, but then in come the drums accompanied by a strings section, and Nicholas is crying "Oh My God, what have I done?" and you know that this song is going to affect you as only the greatest songs of our time can do. And yes, I know I'm talking about Feeder, who are not really known for "Epic." To those disbelievers, listen to the song Yesterday Went Too Soon, from their second album of the same name. I've not heard this level of beauty in a Feeder song since their second album. When the strings really kick in over the chorus, my heart skips a beat. Best listened to loud. I cannot stress this enough. 

Fires is nice enough. Sounds like another power ballad from the moment it starts, with a bit of pomp and circumstance to add to the mix. I just... can't get behind it. As far as the album is concerned, in my humble opinion, I reckon it needed a change of direction after Silent Cry before playing a song like this. Like I said, I like the song, but it's not really placed right, and it doesn't really pick up the pace in my humble. 

Heads Held High starts off questionably. I say this with the greatest respect for Grant Nicholas, but his voice, whilst soaked in reverb, is shaky, and the acoustic guitar plodding along in the background, with the odd string note, doesn't really tick any boxes for me. 

Hear it out. Let the drums kick in. OK, same wailing, but with bass and drums. But then the electric guitars are brought out for the second bridge/chorus. Still not doing it for you? It will. That anthemic shouting of the title, brilliant. It takes a while to get up to speed, but it crescendos nicely, and although not one of the stronger songs in this album, it's certainly not one of the weakest. 

8.18. I'm really not sure I get this. The title I mean. I get the song. It starts off with a nice little kazoo effect. The verses travel nicely, with a brilliant drumbeat from ol' Mark... and then everything goes silent in a way that suggests that all the sound has been sucked into a vacuum. It only lasts for about a second each time they do it, but they match the silence with a raucous and brilliant chorus which knocks the stuffing out of you, let me tell you. I am a man with a lack of stuffing. 

Oh man. Who's The Enemy. The title annoys me slightly, because there's no question mark... but that's the only quabble I have. It starts off with a brilliantly understated guitar line and a military-style drumbeat. The bass adds to the dark tension superbly. And then a triumphant chorus, leading to a guitar/violin duet, and some more heavy guitar. It truly is an anthem, and it's bloody core-shaking.

Haha, Space takes nicely from Who's The Enemy, and leads nicely into Into The Blue. It's 35 seconds long, you can review that one yourself. 

Into The Blue is nice and noisy, with hints of High 5 (B-Side, Lost And Found) in the "hey, hey, hey"s. It's nice, poppy, still a little dark, and thoroughly delicious. 

Guided By A Voice starts off all light and fluffy, with Nicholas crooning "I don't wanna get drunk." The song to me relates to finding your own place in life, realising who you are and where you're going. As such, everything about the song is hopeful and glorious, and it's a really nice song, with a killer chorus, and is loud and quiet in all the relate places. A really top notch song. GBAV, I have two thumbs up for you! I mean, it even ends of a high. Gotta love it.

And so now... Sonorous. You listen to the final song on an album, and you know that it has to take things to the limit. It's the last thing you'll hear before putting your headphones away and continuing your day. 

With it's mantra of "don't give up", it urges you to struggle against the crap that life is and will throw at you. It's superb, and the excellently speedy alt-picked solo is eardrum searing Feeder at it's very best. With Sonorous, the band are clearly saying "Yep, it's the end of this one, but you better not change this frakking channel." It's a perfect choice to end the album. 

And so what, you now want my rating out of ten or conclusion or whatever? No such luck I'm afraid. I happened to download the extra tracks which accompanied the iTunes download of the album. Yeah Yeah and Every Minute

Yeah Yeah is just fun. FUN! YES! Result. It opens with some distorted "Yeah Yeahs" and leads into a brilliant little guitar chord riff. The whole song is reminiscent of High 5, and I love the song for it. Going into the chorus, it still retains the epic..ness? epi..city? Whatever, the epicability of the main album, with a nice travelling guitary overdub. Nice quiet bridge, but don't be fooled, there be loudness about. But yeah, it's a bonus track so you might as well be happy whatever the song is like. Just as well this one's so good. 

And finally, Every Minute. Some nice show-tune drumming at the start and some muted guitars. It's not a bad song, but it's definitely B-Side material. He's singing to a girl called Sarah, and the whole thing's a bit too sickly and saccharine for me. I mean, it's loud and brash, which is nice, but the words and vox in general just do my head in. I'd have been happy with this as a B-Side. Sorry to end on such a down note.

To conclude... buy this album, listen to it, see what you think. I'm a fan of the band, and thus my review may be biased, no matter how much I try for it not to be. Feeder fans generally tend to be a law unto themselves. But it is a lot different from their previous efforts, and everything they're doing seems to fit. The album is consistently good without being repetitive, and the little addition of the bonus tracks was a nice touch as well.

10/12

Best Track: It's got to be Silent Cry without shadow of a doubt.

Worst Track: Sorry to say it, but Fires doesn't do anything for me. And by god, I tried so hard to work in a pun there. 
 

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This is the blog of Cos Ryan, a man you've never heard of. Contained within are blogs, music, film and book reviews, essays on a variety of things and various rants and raves. Tune in, it's proper good.

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