Is there a case to be made for Feeder?
To be honest, no, there isn’t. The near entirety of Feeder’s back catalogue ranged from mediocre to actively awful, and trying to recast them as one of the great underrated bands of the late 90s would be stunningly intellectually dishonest. You may as well argue for a critical reappraisal of A. But IchLugeBullets has before mentioned the dire need for music critics of a certain age to bat together and pay tribute, be it via articles, compilations, albums, or a fucking Spotify playlist, to the world of the turn-of-the-millennium provincial rock club.
Those of us who were unimpressed with the charts of the late 90s (the three Ts: Texas, Travis, trance), and lived in towns where nobody knew who The Smiths were, had no other option than to paint our fingernails black with marker pen, put on a shapeless black longsleeve t-shirt with a red “Anarchy” logo on the front, wear some jeans in which the crotch ended around the ankle, and rock out to some of the worst DJ sets in history.
An average night to one of these places would have seen you encounter Orgy, “Freak On A Leash”, and long-time Pitchfork favourites Save Ferris’s cover of “Come On Eileen”. Girl Talk still missing a big trick not putting that on their albums. When the highpoint of an evening is Lit, it’s clear something is wrong.
Feeder got some play at these places. They started off with legit credibility, maybe the first rock band of my generation to be both British and strongly identified with a skateboarding ethos. They even won Metal Hammer album of the year at one point, so they were getting play outside of the big short mobs. They, as do all other British rock acts, eventually toned down their style for Virgin Radio play, but then their drummer killed himself, so that makes them cool (Jon Lee’s Wikipedia entry deserves much love for noting it was strange he killed himself as he had a “supermodel wife”).
“Just A Day” may be great. I’m not sure. Is it as good as “Burn Baby Burn” by Ash? Are they actually different songs, or has the force of so many people meshing them into one track in their head caused them to bond into a singular tune in the real world? And look at all the faces of the kids in this video. Assuming that they were all around 16-18 when this dropped, these kids are now in their mid-to-late 20s. They have business titles. Mortgages. Some of them may be in bands themselves. Is one of these kids Burial? Did one of those raged-up mosher girls clean herself up, suck a few indie dicks and end in The Pipettes? Is a young James “The Machine” Wade rocking out at any point here, unaware of his future lying between Helen Chamberlain’s thighs? I don’t know. All I know is that nobody would even try and make a “throw yourself into your bedroom walls” anthems like this any more. Where are you now Jon Lee? A lonely nation turns its eyes to you.