Monday, 11 March 2013

Feeding People - Island Universe

Album review by

Gritty, grungy rock band with female singer? Isn't this where we just mention Babes In Toyland, Hole and L7 and then call it a day? In some cases yes, either that or go for some riot grrrl references. But not when it comes to Feeding People it's not. You can hear grunge in some songs ('Other Side' for example) but these guys are aiming for a different musical land; the one where blues, rock and psychedelia live happily together. The most obvious indication of this comes in the opening bars of first song 'Silent Violent' in which vocalist Jessie Jones shows us that she can actually sing, not just scream kind of in tune. When the song kicks in these vocals are commanding in a similar way to those of Leila Moss or PJ Harvey.

This is mature (surprising when you consider that the core of the band are teenagers) and hugely accomplished. The writing here is superb, as is the production which is shared between Crystal Antlers' Johnny Bell and the excellent Hanni El Khatib. There's some fearsome blues-rock on 'Island Universe'; 'Other Side' would give anyone a run for their money. You can tell why the seemingly over-optimistic comparison to Janis Joplin has been made, Feeding People can create tremendous force. Just listen to the raw fury of 'Insane' or the chugging psych of 'Inside Voices' which flips into a punkish riot and then back again. If any doubt is still remaining that this band can kick up a storm then 'Each His Own' shows a diversity that takes in every element we've mentioned.

Further proof that this album isn't one-dimensional comes in the toned-down, folkish 'Cat Song (Luna)' and the tender, almost alt-country style title-track which is incredibly sweet. Immediately it's followed by the crunching psychedelic raw power of 'Big Mother' and then the bluesy, garage-rock they muster up on 'Uranium Sea'. 'Desert Song' has a strange, almost eastern feel. Perhaps Feeding People are a precocious talent given their age, but they sure as hell don't sound like it and the sheer energy and strength they create will impress many. We'll happily stick a tenner on any member of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Cream etc. hearing this and becoming instant fans. Feeding People are currently blowing the competition out of the water.

Feeding People's website

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