Generation Freakshow (album)

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Generation Freakshow
Studio album by Feeder
Released April 23, 2012
Recorded 2009-2012
Genre Indie rock, alternative rock, post-punk
Length 45:47
Label Big Teeth Music
Producer Grant Nicholas, Chris Sheldon
Feeder chronology
Renegades
(2010)
Generation Freakshow
(2012)
Singles from Generation Freakshow
  1. "Borders"
    Released: 30 January 2012
  2. "Children of the Sun"
    Released: 30 April 2012
  3. "Idaho"
    Released: 27 August 2012

Generation Freakshow is the eighth studio album by the Welsh rock band Feeder. It was set to be released on 26 March 2012 but was delayed until 23 April 2012. It was due to be the second in a series of two albums released in 2010 by the band, following up previous album Renegades. However, the band decided to hold more recording sessions for the album, leading them to delay the album until 2012.

Recording and production[edit]

In 2010, during the Renegades sessions, a number of tracks were left off the album before then being considered for inclusion for the follow-up to that album.[1] As there were not enough to fit on the album, more were recorded during the closing stages of the year, with the band taking a break from recording on 19 December,[2] before resuming recording on 10 January 2011.[2] Between 16 January and 24 January a production session began in New York City, this included overdubs, guitars and keyboards with Grant also flying over to record vocals, while some of the album was already recorded in London.[2] On 19 January 2011 a photo of song lyrics written on a sheet of paper was posted on their official Facebook page.[2] One song is already in public knowledge, being so far played live on tour under three different working titles, with those being "Jessie", "White City Rock" and "Borders".[2] In an interview with Heineken Music, on 27 January 2011 Grant revealed that 19 or 20 songs are so far in the recording stages, while the album is planned to be released after their tour of the United Kingdom and Europe ends in March, and like Renegades, looks likely to be released domestically on their own Big Teeth Music imprint.[3]

In an interview with The University Observer, Grant describes the new album: "Its eclectic, much more eclectic than the Renegades album... "Its definitely a more commercial record. I think if you liked Comfort in Sound and you liked Yesterday Went Too Soon, then I think you’ll like this album" ... "There are some real tunes on this and some anthems; there are some rocky moments as well".[1] Grant also revealed in the same interview, that there will be rock songs and melodic songs on the record.[1] There were also plans to release a single or a free track download during their February - March tour which may or may not be on the new album.[1][3] This later went on to become "Side By Side", which was a chart-eligible paid download in aid of the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.[4] The single charted at #91, marking their first top 100 chart visit since 2008's "We Are the People", while becoming their 25th top 100 single in the process. It ultimately did not appear on the album, although did do so on the Japanese release. Grant Nicholas cited on the band's Facebook page, that the single was released purely for the Japanese Tsunami disaster with the chart position not being as important.[2] During their 2011 touring, Feeder introduced drummer Damon Wilson as a live regular and session musician.[5] On 23 September 2011, Grant Nicholas posted on the band's Facebook page that the recording of their yet-untitled eighth studio album is complete with only mixing on the final song to be finalised,[2] before mastering then began on the 30 September in New York.[2] Feeder announced on 10 October that they were currently doing artwork on the new album, before an announcement was made on 14 November, that acoustic versions of some of the new songs are being recorded while Taka is staying in Tokyo.[2] On 29 November 2011, the sequencing process of the album began.[6]

Feeder hosted a trailer on YouTube titled "Coming Soon" on 2 December 2011 and had a message written in Morse code as "-... --- .-. -.. . .-. ...", which translates to "Borders" in plain English. On 6 December 2011 another trailer was released, announcing "Borders" as the first single from the new album, including a four-date tour.[7] "Borders" was released on CD, cassette and 7" on 30 January 2012, with the parent album Generation Freakshow on 23 April 2012. This was the first time Feeder released a cassette single since 2001's "Just a Day"; "Borders" went on to chart at #52. The only track from the sessions of the Renegades album to end up on Generation Freakshow, was that of "Tiny Minds".[8]

The track "Hey Johnny" deals with the subject of despair and was written about Feeder's former drummer Jon Lee who committed suicide in 2002.[9] This is the first Feeder track to be openly based on his death.[9]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
musicOMH 2.5/5 stars [2]
The Guardian 2/5 stars [3]
Q 2/5 stars March 2012
Metro 2/5 stars April 23rd 2012
Drowned In Sound 7/10 stars [4]
BBC Music (Positive) [5]
FMV Magazine 2/5 stars [6]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars

Generation Freakshow was met with mixed reviews but was commercially more successful than their previous release Renegades. Metro describe Feeder as "keeping a steady musical pace,yet stick to the same predictable formula" when reviewing Generation Freakshow.[10]BBC Music praised the album as "more mature,more considered and less noisy".[11] After two weeks the album had sold 9000 copies in the UK.[12]

Generation Freakshow received a two star rating from The Guardian being described as "solid yet uninspiring".[13]

Drowned in Sound credited Feeder for creating another strong addition to their back catalogue.[8] Kerrang! were also positive in their review, stating that "the 12 fabulous songs that comprise Generation Freakshow see Feeder striking the canvas with more measured strokes". In response to the critical reception, frontman Grant Nicholas commented that the band have nevertheless, never been critically well received during the whole of their career, while also not being worried about where the release charts, as long as Feeder's fans like the album. In Japan, the album was better received in the media, in the same way that Pushing the Senses was in Austria.

Despite this critical reception, the album was well-received commercially, charting at #13 in the UK albums chart being an improvement on the #16 of Renegades, which had more positive reviews. Like Renegades, this album was self-released on a shoestring budget with no mainstream radio play for any of the album's tracks, with only alternative stations playing "Borders", while "Children of the Sun" was not as well received. "Borders" also brought Feeder back into the charts after a near four-year absence, when it charted at #52 in February 2012; none of the singles on Renegades charted. The album also seen the band return to the Brixton Academy after a four year absence, one of the UK's major gig venues. Before this, the band had returned to the smaller venues within the capital and the rest of the UK.

Meanwhile in Japan, Generation Freakshow entered the albums chart at #57, a large improvement on the #93 of Renegades and also became Feeder's second-most successful studio album in that country. Also, Generation Freakshow is only one of a few self-released albums or singles to ever record a top 20 placing in the United Kingdom, or a top 60 placing in Japan.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Grant Nicholas. [14]

No. Title Length
1. "Oh My"   3:39
2. "Borders"   3:29
3. "Idaho"   3:28
4. "Hey Johnny"   3:27
5. "Quiet"   5:06
6. "Sunrise"   4:02
7. "Generation Freakshow"   2:49
8. "Tiny Minds"   3:15
9. "In All Honesty"   2:52
10. "Headstrong"   3:13
11. "Fools Can't Sleep"   3:48
12. "Children of the Sun" - includes hidden track "Sky Life"   6:32 (4:19/2:12)

Personnel[edit]

  • Grant Nicholas – vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion, production
  • Taka Hirose – bass guitars
  • Karl Brazil - drums, percussion
  • Chris Sheldon - production, engineering, additional engineering on "Tiny Minds", mixing
  • Matt Sime - engineering and additional production on "Tiny Minds"
  • Brian Sperber - mixing, additional backing vocal on "Oh My", additional keyboard on "Hey Johnny"
  • Paul Spong - trumpet on "In All Honesty"
  • Tom Fuller - assistant engineer
  • George Apison - assistant engineer
  • Ted Jensen - mastering
  • Nigel Walton - sequencing
  • Roger Ballen - photography
  • Scarlet Page - photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Musical therapy". The University Observer. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Feeder Facebook page". Feederweb. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Feeder Still Hungry". Heineken Music. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  4. ^ "Feeder release Japan aid single". The Sun. Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
  5. ^ "drumstars - Images - Damon Wilson". drumstars.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  6. ^ "Album being sequenced today G". Feederweb. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  7. ^ "Feeder - 'Borders' - The New Single / Coming Soon". Feeder YouTube channel. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  8. ^ a b "Generation Freakshow Review" Drowned in Sound 23 April Retrieved 29 April 2012
  9. ^ a b Feeder drummer dies
  10. ^ "Feeders Generation Freakshow sticks to same predictable formula" Metro 23 April 2012 Retrieved 29 April 2012
  11. ^ "Feeder Generation Freakshow Review" BBC Music 10 April 2012 Retrieved 29 April 2012
  12. ^ Sales Figures 6th May 2012 Retrieved 8 May 2012
  13. ^ Feeder:Generation Freakshow-Review The Guardian 22 April 2012 Retrieved 29 April 2012
  14. ^ "Feeder - Generation Freakshow - Tracklisting & track lengths - BestBuy.com". 
  15. ^ "FEEDERニューアルバムで後藤正文、細美武士とコラボ". natalie.mu (in Japanese). 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Feeder - Generation Freakshow". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 

External links[edit]