From the opening hoarse crawl and gargle of "Ha Ha," feedtime on its debut sounds like its members were out to not merely perforate eardrums, but flat out bludgeon skulls. The weird kinship with the aggro energy of the likes of Big Black and the Melvins also makes itself known -- given Feedtime's original roots around the dawn of the '80s, all three shared similar inspirations, and damn if feedtime didn't do something inspiring with them. There's always a sense of knowing how to keep even a tough pub audience happy from the sound of this mess, with blues and R&B hooks and rave-up rhythms underpinning the relentless rampage. The best trick is that the trio also knows how to calm things down and make everything that much more threatening -- thus, for instance, the weird alienation groove of "All Down," with guest vocals from one Rhino. With wailed, echoed vocals asking "Will he/she still love me when he/I come home?" over a dark but almost beautiful chime and chug, it shows that there's more up feedtime's sleeve than might be guessed. Even more impressive is its sense of roots amped up for the modern day. Songs like "Searching the Desert" and "Papa's Little Angel Child" are credited with inspiration from Willie and Kate McTell and Mississippi Fred McDowell, while old Cajun musicians are also specifically thanked for further good listening. When the group completely speeds up and lets fly, get out of the way -- "Fastbuck," with its yelled refrain of "Pontiac, gasoline!," sounds like car culture come to life and destroying what's left of the environment. The lurking menace around the corner feel of "Dead Crazy," meanwhile, is almost cinematic in scope and sheer tension, guitars crying like souls in torment.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett