Album review: Feeder – Black / Red

Place your bets! Feeder put their shirts on a sprawling double album – and end up winning big…

Gamblers at a roulette table looking to double their money traditionally face the choice of putting it all on black or red. And on Black / Red, their landmark 12th album, Feeder also go for a high-stakes double: 18 tracks, two “discs” and one raised middle finger to today’s supposedly TikTok-ravaged short attention spans.

Luckily, if there’s any band that could be described as a sure thing, it’s probably Feeder. There’s barely been a misstep across those dozen records and while this trilogy-concluding follow-up to 2022’s excellent Torpedo is certainly ambitious, Grant Nicholas and Taka Hirose emerge with their high-rolling reputations enhanced.

The ’Black’ disc continues Torpedo’s hard-rocking renaissance, the tightly wound classic rock riffing of Playing With Fire and the expansive, cinematic landscape of ELF striking a charming juxtaposition with the irresistible pop rush of Hey You. ‘Red’ isn’t quite as heavy, but it’s just as intense, stuffed with Feeder’s ’00s trademark: melody-drenched, emotive alternative-rock anthems such as Sleeping Dogs Lie, Unconditional and Here Comes The Hurricane.

Feeder are still more than capable of springing a surprise – lord alone knows what odds you’d have got on the poignant Soldiers Of Love sporting a bagpipes intro, 30 years after they first blasted out of South Wales. But as that song rails against a world 'When you feel nothing is real', you’ll realise that – whether you have time to hear these songs all together or listen to them in splendid isolation – Black / Red is an authentic representation of a great band in full, long-distance flight.

And, if you’re looking for a band to keep it real in a world of fakes, you could do a lot worse than to put it all on Feeder.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Royal Blood, Foo Fighters, The Who

Black / Red is released on April 5 via Big Teeth Music