With some criticising it as promotion gone mad, and others praising it as a work of genius, Feeder returned in January 2010 as Renegades. It appeared the band had renamed themselves and decided to play several 'secret' dates under their new pseudonym. Using the departure of their drummer Mark Richardson, the band claimed the split had resulted in the hiatus of Feeder, and the creation of Renegades - before revealing Richardson had been working with the group all along.
The truth was far simpler, that the name Renegades would be the new album, and this change in name meant the band could be selective with their Feeder history.
Indeed, Feeder provide a more rock friendly record, harking back to the days of albums like Swim and creating the kind of grassroots buzz that's normally reserved for college bands. Renegades is unlike anything Feeder have done in the past few years and tracks like 'White Lines' and the albums title track create an Indie buzz with stems of Classic Rock. Bassist Taka Hirose and Drummer Karl Brazil work well together and this is perhaps the best sounding album since Comfort In Sound or Echo Park.
Standout tracks include 'City In A Rut' and the almost eeriely titled 'Down In A River' (which some have speculated is about the suicide of the band's former drummer John Lee). While this track retains the mellower aspects of recent Feeder albums, the majority of the album has a heavier feel, and the orchestration previously present has been removed. If you can imagine their debut with a better production, then Renegades is going in this direction.
The album also has a darker, and perhaps less uplifting spirit, than some of its predecessors. 'Home' borders on Punk and Nichols' performance is particularly notable for his fast lyrics.
Bonus track 'Godhead' stands out as being from perhaps a different session. Production wise, the quality seems raised, and the vocal distortion doesn't seem as muffled. In fact, one could mistake it for a B Side of U2's 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me' with a sort of electro Rock experimentation.
The album ends, rather appropriately, with 'The End' - another classic Rock track and perhaps the heaviest on the album. Whether Feeder will reclaim their earlier fanbase by ignoring the classic songs that have given them more global noterity is unknown but this is an album that sees Feeder finding themselves, and perhaps coming out the other side.
As previously reported on Daily Music Guide, Feeder perform a secret performance at the UK Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, under the name Renegades at Saturday night [00.30] on the Bohemia Stage.