Feeds are one of the hardest working bands in town. They've been gigging solidly since they formed as a University-based band last year and have carried on again this year despite the fact that some of them have been whisked away on placements and live at opposite ends of the country. After teasing crowds with free demo CDs for a few months, the five piece have been impressively quick in getting an EP out and have really delivered on the ambitiously named Explorations.
Firstly, as you'd hope from a bunch of Music and Tech students, the recordings sound almost flawless. This doesn't sound like a bunch of unsigned youngsters - there's enough polish here to actually put some established bands to shame. There's no sign of any fashionable lo-fi fuzz and everything is crisp and clean thanks to recording and mixing from fellow Huddersfield student James Simpson at The Tower studios.
As the name suggests, the five track EP is all about the band pushing themselves, trying out different genres and seeing what works for them. Feeds move from acoustic indie pop, such as on the EP's high point - the soaring 'So Long (Sweet Summer) - in to blues or funk passages and back again, often within the same song. Floating piano lines compete with reggae-influenced rhythms, and it actually works. You get a real sense of a band that is just having fun jamming and seeing where their music takes them.
One criticism that I have always personally levelled at Feeds gigs is that their decision to share lead vocal duties from song to song means that their set doesn't sound all that cohesive at times, but on Explorations it plays out much better, giving a strong ensemble feeling that is all tied together by backing harmonies.
Explorations is the sound of a band not just finding their feet, but learning that they don't need to keep them in one place. Feeds could literally go in any direction next, and I am definitely curious to see what it will be.
Listen to Explorations for yourself at wearefeeds.bandcamp.com