If you thought grunge was whimpering in its grave then think again as High Wycombe, UK based rockers Feud show with their debut album Waterdog it is still healthy and full of instinctive energy. The twelve tracks on the album ripple with essential grunge flavours and sentiment recalling the height of and infusing new breath into the genre as well as adding extra edges and rock essences.
Seeds of the band started in South Africa when brothers Greg (vocals/guitar) and Guy (drums/vocals) Combrinck worked on songs that would eventually be the base for the band that emerged after their relocation to the UK and an extensive search leading to the eventual addition of Ian Harper (guitars/vocals) and Tom Syrett (bass/vocals) to the line-up. The past four years with formidable work and numerous shows with the likes of Cancer Bats, Young Guns, Jettblack and Days In December, has seen the band earn acclaim and critical praise especially with the release of their debut EP Out From The Inside.
With Waterdog released 19th September, the quartet have now announced their arrival as a strong expressively engaging and entertaining band with heart and style and with a sound though heavily influenced that is fresh and inviting. ‘Dying To Meat You’ opens up the album, direct in sound and lyrically its punk edged grunge recalls bands like Foo Fighters and Gruntruck. The track marks an inviting and vibrant start to a release that continues in the same pulsating vein and with varied spices.
Consistent across the whole length of Waterdog some tracks throb with extra radiance and style over others. The simmering and expressive Nirvana flavoured ‘Breathe’, the Bush like ‘Through Your Eyes’ with a tasty incessant flow, ‘Blame Me’ with its Stone Temple Pilots rock riffs and lighter pop addictive melodies, and the punk grunge glory of ‘Don’t Care’ riding in on an obvious Nirvana riff/hook homage and laced with touches of Green Day and Weezer are all irrepressible invitations to be totally absorbed into the album.
The best two tracks on the album though are ‘Alkaline’ and ‘Get Out’. The first has a dark moody bassline with siren like qualities giving with the drums, a resonating empathy to the Gavin Rossdale like emotive vocals and aggressive guitars. All the tracks on the album suggest the band’s live shows are an exciting and robust event but this track is a firm confirmation with its intense energy. The second of the songs entering again on another blatant Nirvana riff carries good punk edginess with attitude soaked vocals which as the song progresses brings a great Rancid like quality to them parallel to the great melodic grunge pop vibe that flows throughout.
For some Waterdog will have too many very close and similar sounds and moments that have been forged in the fires of works from classic grunge bands of the 90’s but they miss the fact that Feud from those influences and personal loves have created an album that excites and thrills the ear as well as engages the heart with its honest and catchy openness and addictive sounds. The band definitely walks the right side of the line that is plagiarism, using homage to their influences alongside their own fun and fresh vibrancy to give songs that are alive with pulsating riffs and addiction causing melodies. Feud once they do find their very own distinctive spark will be the new leaders of a genre that still has a definite impressive pulse.