Feeder - Torpedo (Big Teeth Music)

Feeder – Torpedo (Big Teeth Music)

Welsh rock band Feeder have had a bit of a commercial resurgence of late – their 2019 album Tallulah was the first to enter the UK album chart’s top five since 2005’s Pushing the Senses.

This new offering – Torpedo, their 11th album – has also just entered the charts at number five, which leaves me wondering, who is buying Feeder albums these days? It can’t just be 30-year-old gits like me who’ve followed them for the last 20 years that are propelling them into the top five.

Torpedo consists of material written during the Covid lockdown following guitarist Grant Nicholas suffering a case of writer’s block. When it lifted, he apparently wrote enough material to record two albums (the second album is apparently due for release next year).

Feeder announced Torpedo back in August with the single of the same name – and it’s their best song in many, many years. It combines all that is good about Feeder – loud guitars, muscular riffs, meaningful lyrics and a catchy chorus.

Nicholas sings: “The weight we carried lifted from our lives. Somehow we’ve connected, unified, we’ve realigned”, which could easily sum up how many feel about the return to normal post-pandemic.

While listening to Feeder’s recent albums I’d always felt as if Nicholas’s vocals had gone downhill a tad – a bit tired and ropey, likely just due to age and strain of constant gigging and recording. On Torpedo it sounds refreshed and revitalised, and up to serenading anyone who’ll listen.

Generally the band seem to have crafted songs that will sound epic played live – especially in front of festival audiences. Opener ‘The Healing’ begins with lush strings before giving way to a euphoric riff, very reminiscent of 2003 single ‘Just the Way I’m Feeling’, surely one of their greatest ever songs.

Other highlights include ‘When It All Breaks Down’ – notable for soaring melodies and what sounds like a Biffy Clyro-inspired middle eight – and ‘Wall of Silence’, which will have you whistling along on second listen.

‘Magpie’ sounds almost sludge metal (albeit with a jolly electronic riff, as if The Feeling’s keyboard player were doing his best to play along with Black Sabbath).   

Some of the tracks towards the end are a bit lethargic– ‘Slow Strings’ and ‘Submission’ are cases in point. But overall, it’s clear that Feeder are still selling records because they still write good songs.

Feeder kick off a UK tour later this month, culminating with Brixton Academy on May 6th, almost 25 years to the day since they released their debut album. I might go along actually – partly because I feel these songs need to be heard live. But also because I’m intrigued to know who makes up Feeder’s fanbase these days.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.