Album Reviews Music

Album Review: ‘Tallulah’, by Feeder

Feeder

By Craig Strachan

 

‘Tallulah’ is out on the 9th August 2019. Put it in your calendars!

Craig’s rating: 3.5/5

The Welsh rock band Feeder have released their 10 th studio Album Tallulah this month and their first
studio effort since the release of All Bright Electric in 2016. Originally from Newport, this effort has
been described by vocalist Grant Nicholas as a “classic Feeder record”. Perhaps riding on a new
generation of fans gained by the success of their previous studio album and 2017’s Best of album,
the band has returned to the quintessential post-grunge rock that gained them success with 2001’s
Echo Park.

The vintage Feeder is employed right from the start of this album too. Opening track “Youth”
is a classic Rock ‘n’ Roll opener. It’s fast paced and the beat by Karl Brazil is relentless and feels as if
the band are reliving their finest days through this song. Lyrically this is mirrored with Nicholas
proclaiming that he wishes “we were still young” and imagines the characters of the song as “lovers
on the run/ California here we come” on some impromptu road trip.

The same call-back ‘Feeder’ sound plays in the lead single “Fear of flying” and track five “Rodeo”. The former has been described by Nicholas as a song about the “fear of the bubble bursting” and gaining success in the digital age. Lyrically, this song also hits on some dark themes like ageing and mortality (“Why can’t we grow old naturally”). Although the song’s narrative is fictional this is a theme that is present throughout the majority of this album. “Rodeo” probably addresses these themes the most introspectively whilst remaining a classic rock song, at one point asking the listener “Do you ever feel like letting go?”.

 

Tallulah

As much as “Youth” is a fast song about looking back on being a teenager, the proceeding
track “Big Sky Blue” foils this. The song is a lot slower and looks uncertainly to the future. It is also
the closest the Welsh rockers come to anthemic on this album. Unfortunately, they attempt to
achieve this status and fail to do so on several occasions which becomes this record’s downfall. Tallulah’s 12 tracks are littered with mid-tempo unoriginal rock songs that end up coming across as cliché. These include Shapes and Sounds, Guillotine, Kite, Windmill and even track 3 Daily Habit. They all detail some form of coming to grips with age or reflection on life and do offer some variance in pace or structure but none in a way that hasn’t been heard many times before.

However, there is some variety to be found in this album. The title track has a slightly more
delicate texture and when it does reach its climaxes some more modern digital effects appear rather
than the standard wall of guitars. Perhaps the most delicate track of them all is the closer which is an
acoustic number that fingerpicks the most emotionally raw account of someone telling the listener
to appreciate their life as they are now living out their “lonely hollow days”. Finally, Kyoto is the
darkest and most sinister track on this LP, centred around an enthralling riff of focussed chaos that
leaves you wondering who Nicholas has made his victim. These tracks help make this album an
interesting and emotional listen if not entirely exciting and original.

Tracklist:

  1. ‘Youth’
  2. ‘Blue Sky Habit’
  3. ‘Daily Habit’
  4. ‘Fear Of Flying’
  5. ‘Rodeo’
  6. ‘Tallulah’
  7. ‘Shapes And Sounds’
  8. ‘Guillotine’
  9. ‘Kyoto’
  10. ‘Kite’
  11. ‘Windmill’
  12. ‘Lonely Hollow Days’

Tour Dates:

November

1st – Portsmouth, Pyramids

2nd – Exeter, Great Hal

4th – Oxford, O2 Academy

5th – Norwich, UEA

7th – Leeds, Beckett University

8th – Cardiff, Great Hall

10th – Newcastle, O2 Academy

11th – Birmingham, O2 Institute

13th – Inverness, Ironworks

14th – Glasgow, Barrowland

16th – Manchester, Albert Hall

17th – Manchester, Albert Hall

19th – Lincoln, Engine Room

20th – Nottingham, Rock City

22nd – London, Roundhouse

23rd – London, Roundhouse

MAY

18th – Lancaster, Highest Point Festival

25th – Falkirk, Vibrations Festival (headliners)

JUNE

1st – County Down, Harmony Festival (headliners)

JULY

28th – Bude, Leopallooza

AUGUST

11th – Enniskillen, Shoreline Festival

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