Posted in music | pictures on April 9, 2012

words by Erick Bradshaw, photos by Keith Marlowe

feedtime @ Death By Audio in Brooklyn
Feedtime

Nearly twenty-five years after their formation, Australian underground rock legends feedtime (always with lowercase "f") embarked on their first US tour last week. This past weekend, the tour brought feedtime to the NYC area for three shows; Thursday at Death By Audio, Saturday at Cake Shop, and Sunday at Maxwell's. For longtime fans, and new converts, this was a rare glimpse into a corner of rock n' roll that the die-hards out there consider to be as essential as Detroit '69, Cleveland '75, and London '77. Early-mid '80s Aussie postpunk is among the rawest, most brutal, and utterly physical rock n' roll ever wrestled out of the classic bass/drums/guitar triumvirate. Feedtime epitomize this uncompromising stance as well as any combo before or since. Initially forming in 1979, finding their footing in the '80s via Aberrant Records, and achieving moderate international success via distribution deals with Rough Trade and Amphetamine Reptile, feedtime have come for their reckoning, thanks to a brand-new 4-LP box set on Sub Pop (collecting their Aberrant years) and a new LP/CD of previously unreleased material, Today is Friday (S-S Records).

Feedtime songs don't have riffs per se; they are made up of sinew, gristle, and sweat. The bass sounds as if it has been constructed from steel girders and the guitar is usually attacked with whatever is handy, resulting in a slide-frenzy that sounds like what having razorwire dragged across your face must feel like; it recalls the most savage of blues. And the drums, the drums are beaten mercilessly, much like the sun beats down on the unshaded in the Outback. Rich man, poor man, the sun don't care how much is in your bank account. Feedtime doesn't care either, but they do care about what's in the bank itself, as the debut album's "Fastbuck" notes: "Got a Pontiac/gasoline/grab the cash/split the scene." Why this wasn't used in a chase scene in Chopper is beyond me. There is a cinematic flair to feedtime; a dirty, sandswept noir sparsely populated by violent and unpredictable outsiders, desperate loners lurking on the fringes of society.

Thursday at Death By Audio was a well-attended example of the possibilities of amplified rock-like noise. Perpetual local no wave faves Sightings lurched through their patented short-circuit compositions, walking a jagged edge of falling apart/building up, unleashing waves of discomfiting deep-bass stabs and roiling sheets of slicing guitar noise. It was a night of veterans, as former labelmates (in their previous incarnation as Hammerhead) Vaz, brought a punishing set of their uniquely harrowing and pummeling take on hardcore.

Feedtime took the stage and fumbled through a few of their opening numbers. Did the old guys still have it? Suddenly, they found their groove and rode it like a freight train to Hell, all dense bass chug, perfectly on-point drumming, and that nasty slide guitar. As the set progressed it seemed feedtime actually became more unhinged and threatened to jump the tracks. There's something thrilling about a band that can maintain that nearly-falling-apart tension while also remaining firmly in control.

Two nights later, at the Cake Shop, feedtime came out like gangbusters, on fire from the very start. Songs like "Dead Crazy" and the catchy, relatively straightforward punk of "Don't Like" whipped the crowd up, but they balanced out the blunt instrument approach with cuts like the melancholic "Ever Again" and "Fractured."
Feedtime is also known for their excellent covers (their Cooper-S LP is all covers), and they didn't disappoint with a brisk run-through of contemporaries and inspirations, (Aussie) X's "I Don't Wanna Go Out," and a deconstructed cover of the Stones' "Paint It Black" that ended in a double-time hardcore blitz. Once again, drummer Tom nailed the band's feet to the floor, giving the other fellas plenty of room to roll all over you with that metallic (as in the substance, not the genre) bass and savage slide. Never underestimate the power of a gnarly bass tone.

While the crowd was smaller than the DBA show, it was like a pow-wow of several generations of gritty rock n' roll, as members of classic Oz/US bands like Lubricated Goat, Chrome Cranks, and Bird Blobs looked on with big smiles, and, just maybe, a napkin with a few notes scribbled on it. Good on ya, feedtime.

The tour ended on Saturday in LA, two nights after hitting Beerland in Austin with the OBN III's. Check out more pictures from the Brookly show, with some songs, below...

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Comments (32)

Was at the Cake Shop show. Fun and great to see the band in good form. Don't totally agree with the writers over hyped long winded review. Hey Keith, a good writer says much more with much less. Relax.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 1:07 PM

Here is a review of the DBA show. Vaz was amazing as usual Feedtime was sloppy to start but then ended on a high note. Great show over all.
Thank You DBA for hosting this show

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 1:22 PM

A good reader knows what "photos by Keith Marlowe" means. Relax.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 1:35 PM

who the hell are Bird Blobs, and are they really considered classic?

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 1:36 PM

The first poster is correct. Why waste multiple paragraphs on a band that has existed for over 30 years, put out a series of classic records (including a box set on Sub Pop), and toured the US for the first time ever? I mean, what have they ever done? A two-sentence blurb would have sufficed. In fact, why doesn't Brooklyn Vegan just go all-Twitter? Get with it, it's the 21st century, dudes.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 1:40 PM

I was the first poster. My apologies on the mistake of the name of the writer. To the 1:35 schmuck it was an easy mistake as Keith has not only photographed a bunch of shows for this blog but has also written the "long winded" reviews of them as well. So an easy mistake to make. Still the review is over hyped and way too long. To that point, 1:40, just because a show is special or unique does not mean you have to go on and on especially when it is over exaggerated blather that does not serve the review at all.

Again, A good writer can say much more with much less.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 1:57 PM

A good writer knows when to capitalize and when not to capitalize.

Long-winded is 6 paragraphs about two shows? Go read USA Today.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:00 PM

Hey BV writers, please stop making your readers' brains hurt. They can only fit so many shitty metal bands and spoiled hummus into their tiny pea-brains.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:04 PM

That frog is clearly awaiting some hummus for it's feedtime! Look how excited it is!

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:10 PM

I'm new to "The Veg," but I thought it was very clever how the writer mentioned the band "finding their footing" earlier in the article, and then refers to how the drummer "nailed the band's feet to the floor" at the Cake Shop show.
But that's just me. The new guy.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:12 PM

Is it me or is the post @ 1:57 a bit long-winded? Maybe a little over-hyped too?

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:17 PM

yo I heard the ghost of Earnest Hemingway was gonna start writing for BV

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:19 PM

The first person commenting is correct. Like a ton of other reviews on "The Veg", the writing is horrible and long winded Just because you write a lot does not mean you say anything important or clever.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:22 PM

@2:17 it is just you. And 2:00, you are a clueless idiot. Guessing both of those guys are either Erick, Keith or one of their buddies.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:27 PM

Hey man, do you ask who's behind the wall at your favorite gloryhole spot? Why ruin the mystery?

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:29 PM

Oh and 2:19, it is ERNEST Hemingway but I can see how a writer for BV could get that wrong.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:29 PM

THANK YOU

now back to reading the Oscar Meyer classic "The Importance of Being Ernest"

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:32 PM

"Here is a review of the DBA show. Vaz was amazing as usual Feedtime was sloppy to start but then ended on a high note. Great show over all.
Thank You DBA for hosting this show"

Pure poetry. Succint. Felt like I was there.
I agree with the other commenters. Fuck Lester Bangs, Aristotle, and Foucault. Also, fuck Bird Blobs.

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:39 PM

Earnest Goes to Camp

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:40 PM

yo I heard Max Ernst was gonna start doing collage reviews of shows for BV

Posted by Anonymous | April 9, 2012 2:44 PM

Thanks to Erick for writing this. I'm glad that someone who knows what he's talking about got the chance to write about this band on this site. Appreciated.

Posted by Dave | April 10, 2012 8:28 AM

Dear Mr. Succinct review man. Most people reading this don't know feedtime. Even most of those of us old enough who should have known feedtime didn't/don't know feedtime. Some explanation is necessary. If all you can handle is two sentences at a time, up your Strattera.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 9:51 AM

I appreciate the above post cuz I had no idea what Strattera is. Now I do, and I feel richer for it. I love words!

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 12:30 PM

I applaud the above post for its brazen ignorance and lack of commentary on the previous post!

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 1:32 PM

We can't all work for Big Pharma! Somebody's gotta slave away and get sick and help you invent fake diseases! I LOVE WORDS!

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 2:20 PM

Brazen Ignorance is sick. Did you see that photo spread from their show at The Acheron? Bandana thrash heaven. I'm not crazy, you're the one who's crazy....

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 2:22 PM

Wow - you're a good troll. You're dragging me in by not commenting on the substance at all. You win. I shouldn't have used the name of a prescription drug.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 2:23 PM

Looking at the last 7 or so comments, it is one idiot after another trying to top each other. Just fucking perfect. Fucking dummies the lot of you and Erick the writer as well.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 2:36 PM

Somebody's sad that they aren't funny.
Awww, big guy, I'm sure you're good at lots of things. I'm SURE of it. I just KNOW it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 3:40 PM

yo anyone know the deets on the new Brazen Ignorance 2x8"? Heard Slap-a-Ham was gonna co-release it w/ 625 & Prank. SICK.

Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012 3:51 PM

I applaud.........wait, I have no hands.

Thanks a lot, lawnmower :(

Posted by Anonymous | April 12, 2012 11:35 AM

I think this is cool just saying.

Posted by jordon | August 3, 2013 3:37 PM

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