It’s album number ten for the Welsh trio and expectations are not high, following 2016’s All Bright Electric and lead singer Grant Nicholas’ solo album. Neither were terrible but they were unmemorable. Even after reading the review I wrote three years ago for album nine, I can’t recall any of the music.
From the opening track there is no doubt that we are listening to a ‘90s band. In fact the first song, ‘Youth’, sounds like a reworking of Busted’s ouevre. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way. After the comparative dreariness of Feeder’s recent output, a little upbeat pop rockery is most welcome. It’s easy to see why it was chosen to open the album. Unfortunately, ‘Youth’ is a false dawn and Tallulah reveals itself as an uninspired drudge through dinner party rock.
There are occasional highlights along the way. ‘Fear Of Flying’ sounds like a Bob Mould song and ‘Kite’ has a George Harrison vibe. It’s puzzling that ‘Tallulah’ has been elected as the title of the record. It could be a Duran Duran album track. Similarly ‘Guillotine’ is an instantly forgettable dirge. It makes one grateful for the heavy metal thunder of ‘Kyoto’. It’s an unmistakably ‘90s sort of metal but, nonetheless, it is invigorating and reminds the listener of a triumphant past in which this band played stadia with Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age.
Tallulah is a pleasant, unobtrusive listen but I can’t help but expect more from this band. They are older now and their songwriting and composition have evolved but their style has not. Many of these songs would work better as an acoustic trio, for example. Feeder’s commitment to ‘90s adult rock tropes ages these tunes before their time. Maybe it’s time for an new approach.
You can order Tallulah here