by robin EMERITUS
May 18th, 2008 | 1 replies

Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The noiser, albeit still sentimental debut of Feeder

As dramatic as the adjustment in writing styles has been for Feeder, little glimpses of the older, energetic band are still existent. Though mellow, reflecting albums Comfort In Sound and Pushing The Senses provided an astounding amount of critical success, certain songs from newer material produce a noisier, less peaceful type of music that late drummer Jon Lee could have easily been mistaken for contributing to. The band, despite slowly progressing towards placid emotions, have never completely been able to restrict themselves to quiet, as their origins can demonstrate.

Polythene is the first full-length entirety for the band. Suspiciously distanced from much else in the band’s discography, Feeder took into this album a grunge-influenced approach. Initially outlining the albums style, “Polythene Girl” opens the album with setting tones. Guitar established throughout, the song is an immediate confirmation for following songs. Other welcoming pieces on the album effectively move the album in another direction – “High”, despite deriving from a slow-paced acoustic sound, transits into messy, incoherent choruses that are somehow pulled off; as a result receiving the role of radio airplay.

If anything, moments resembled by “High” and “Forgive” can move the album away from the speed attempted. Though both songs continue the boisterous atmosphere of the album, the power is separated without the hasty tempo. “Forgive” essentially moves into an irritating bridge, with vocals floundering desperately over distorted instruments.

Indeed, whilst overusing the distortion of guitar in this album, the fuzziness can sometimes produce some pivotal moments. “Crash” fits these descriptions completely, calling upon prompt, constant drumming to contribute along side the eccentric guitar and bass sounds chosen. The aggressiveness of songs like this also cause the album to excel expectations in places, lyrics such as I’ve got myself so deep inside a hole I taste the air go thin as I get old/I Don’t Think So; remaining poignantly human yet vocally intense. “Cement” runs parallel to the song, with a destructive break and chorus, though a more relaxing verse. Lyrics also appear simple yet incensed, including How Can I Stop This Disease?

Other moments in this album seem to suggest the Welsh trio slipping into habits that may never reappear. “Tangerine” is on listen instantly the song most devoid of Feeder’s reputation. Providing the claims of a “grunge” sound, the song shows the band at their swiftest and most provoking. While this song is certainly chaotic, the uncontained product of the song causes a catchy, positive trend for the record.

Alternatively, there are the halts in this technique providing the hints towards developing into a ballad-driven force. “Suffocate” is an unpolished example of such, a longing tune that undergoes a return to the acoustic guitars – albeit with no signals of inane distortion or sudden shrillness. “20th Century Trip”, the closer, is the addition to this pattern, though using an echoed background to create an empty mood – eventually spluttering into nothingness with an unfortunate ending to an otherwise resounding ender.

So with these extras, the album can seem unknown with not so much a complete appearance as assumed. Whilst Feeder’s Polythene has certainly deserved the famous title as ‘Feeder’s loudest album’, it is also observed that even at the foundation of the group, not everything had to be overcome by noise. Through the consistent distortion the album proves its worth as an angry, catchy, rock album and an unhurried, dignified act to drive future concepts the band would come to. The overlooked release, whilst one of the least stripped down by Feeder, presses an intriguing amount of variety, for better and worse.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 8th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Wow no comments on a staff review, strange. Just listened to this for the first time and it's actually pretty good. "High" is really quite catchy. Lots of post-grunge influence on this compared to their later stuff.

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