Graham Reid | | 1 min read
New Zealand critics never much liked the feelers, but that hardly slowed them down. Knowing that living well is the best revenge they just kept making big selling albums and embarking on highly profitable tours when their massive audience came out to cheer them on.
This debut album from '98 -- here remastered and with four extra tracks -- topped the New Zealand charts, and was not their last to do that. It also scored them a bag on music awards.
I guess what most critics didn't like was that their sound was highly referential (Nirvana, pretty much any mainstream UK band which crossed over to an American audience) but you could hardly accuse many of New Zealand indie.rock bands of shining originality either.
Maybe their very success was galling in a country which only opens that particular portal to the select.
Whatever (as doubtless feelers fans were yawping at the time) . . .
Frankly, I never thought they were as awful as some would have us believe and it is always wise to set aside the personality of a musician when considering their art. Critics seemed to have real snitcher on about feelers' frontman James Reid.
Anyway, here for reconsideration is that debut album reissued and of course it sounds of its period, of its genre and so forth.
But if chest-baring guitar rock with a few dollops of teen angst is your thing (which immediately precludes most male critics over 25 perhaps) then this is right in the centre of the frame.
It sold 60,000 on its original release (outsold that year only by the Bee Gees' One Night Only) and arrived just as radio was looking for harder rock bands. And the promotion of the band was astute.
But in the end, people don't buy records they don't like (well, maybe hip indie kids do) and this sold and sold.
Yes, it is derivative but it also packs a powerful punch. Check it out.
As George Michael said, "listen without prejudice".