Review: Feedb+ck – The Basement EP

The Basement EP is the second effort from Armagh alt-rock trio Feedb+ck. There were definite garage punk influences on the first EP and they return here, with a few new genres explored.

The record starts with ‘D.I.D.’, a gritty punk track with a lot of call and response going on. Power chords are met with rumbling toms and the chorus/ riff. The vocals are raspy and anarchic and you can hear vocalist Alex Close’s throat being torn, a dedicated delivery. The mixing is far from polished though which gives the track a lo-fi DIY character, meanwhile the band’s timing can be a bit off; and although this would usually be negative, it compliments the music quite well and creates an everyman’s punk track that’s just lacking lyrics worthy of getting behind.

The next track ‘Late Night Walks’ keeps the punky attitude but adds a bouncier, danceable drum beat. There’s a strong riff here too, and again it calls for a response from the vocals in the chorus. Close’s delivery here brings to mind Lemmy’s nasally rasp. About halfway through the track we get a guitar solo that was getting somewhere but could have used a bit more development towards its end.

Starting the second half of the EP is ‘Somebody Else’. The track is a change of pace, slower and beginning only with guitar and vocals. The track is straight out of the mellower 90s grunge scene, with mucky undistorted chords. The bass could be a bit more prominent in the mix; it comes into the track about a third through with this really nice funky but slinky riff, and even has a solo towards the end. I kept waiting for a release and the grittier rock of the previous tracks to burst out, but it never did. Personally I think that would have elevated things and created a meatier track.

Ending the record, we’re treated to ‘Words With Alcohol’, an ironically sobering track straight out of leftfield. This is by far the brightest track on the EP, a feel bad hit for the Summer. There’s some pleasant Sublime-like guitar work that contrasts well with Close’s gruff but emotionally gratifying vocals. This all comes together to give the track a laid-back romantic and whimsical, if not melancholic air.

Overall the EP is a varied collection of tracks. Initially the first two punkier tracks stood out to me, but with time ‘Words With Alcohol’ sneaked ahead. There’s nothing really lyrically profound on the album, but they do their job of giving emotional context to the tracks. In total it’s a neat little record and it’s nice to see the band explore some new grounds and do it well.

Highlights: ‘Words With Alcohol’, ‘Late Night Walks’