Album: Feeder

Pushing the Senses, ECHO
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Feeder's fifth album opens with the great guitar and vocal fanfare of "Feeling a Moment", resembling the Mancunian festival stalwarts James at their most anthemic. The songwriter/front man Grant Nicholas might even be addressing a festival crowd when he sings, "How do you feel when there's no sun? And how will you be when rain clouds come?" - but no, it's just another exercise in the kind of exaggerated melancholy in which Athlete traffic, another bout of gloom and insipid uplift for the self-pity generation. This is confirmed several times in tracks such as "Bitter Glass" ("So what are you saying/ You've got nothing to live for") and "Tumble and Fall" ("We tumble and fall/ Together we crawl"), the latter aptly featuring backing vocals from Travis on a song using rainfall as a metaphor for misery. Feeder's former drummer Jon Lee did actually commit suicide, so they have more justification than most to indulge their melancholy. Several tracks could be commentaries on the grieving process, healing songs, most notably "Frequency", whose subject is "lying awake on top of silver clouds, sending love back down". But even allowing for the couple of songs ("Pilgrim Soul" and the title track) that seek to "fight the undertow" of dark, suicidal emotions through a more spirited, energetic sound, Pushing the Senses is essentially another meditation on misery.