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Feedback Revival, "Feedback Revival"
- by Terra James-Jura

Feedback Revival released their newest self-titled album on January 30th, taking over the High Watt with a cast of friends to rattle some jaws in celebration. The album is 12 tracks thick with the guitar fuzz and heavy bass that the band has become known for. Some of the same faces from the stage lend their talent to the album: Matthew Page of Blackfoot Gypsies and Brian Bandas of The Low Down to name a few. Dan Fenton’s vocals lend satisfactory levels of badassery, and liberties with the English language such as “-she done walk with swagger-“ drive home the fact that things are more interesting a little raw (save for poultry). The same goes for the recording quality, where some tracks max out and sound better and more authentic for it. The band's sound is just to rough and tumble to be contained by conventional means.

Rock as it may, it is not an uplifting album. It is run through with themes of bad women, alcohol, misbehavior, suicide, and backlash against one’s origins. It is a canon of growing up angry and poor in the new South. Rebellion and dissatisfaction run rampant. There are myriad combinations of the words “gypsy,” “woman,” “voodoo,” and “dead man.” Even in the most upbeat track, “At Last” about a young woman leaving Tennessee only to discover that it was her one true home, I was quite sure the heroine was going to meet her untimely death somewhere in Los Angeles with a needle in her arm. 

But who said music is supposed to make you feel good, Princess? Why not angry, wronged, or frustrated, like the folks in these songs, and just about everybody else most of the time? ”Ballad of Loretta” opens with the best line in the album, “I’ve got tannins in my blood-“ stews in the anticipation of a man finally setting things right via shotgun and shovel. The third track, “Jesse James” revels in the macabre glee of being an outlaw. “Beautiful Life” is a biopic of some of the sad stories that can be found any Small Town USA.

The piano piece at the very end of the last track “Home" sums up the feel of the whole album. It’s a haunted 2 minutes with a building sense of panic as the keys start fluttering higher and higher. It sounds trapped, just like most of the characters in the album; fettered by bad relationships, choices, or an upbringing that offered no alternative to the status quo and clawing for some way out. The final chord struck ties the detour back to the track and essentially sighs “Aw hell,” in surrender.

This album retains Feedback Revival’s reputation for hard, mean rock perfect for Saturday nights or robbing trains. But it also lays bare a lot of ugly truths about the human condition. If you’re a person that likes women, drinking, fighting, and pausing briefly to reflect upon past mistakes and the futility of the present, then soldiering on because, shit, what else can you do, then pick up this record. These guys get you.



 

 

 

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Feedback Revival
Self-titled