SpoonFeedas - True North - Album: SpoonFeedas - True North

2006-03-29 20:09
 

Durban based pop-rock quartet SpoonFeedas have built quite a following since they formed in 2000. There's no doubt that they have worked hard to get where they are today, touring constantly and playing every gig they could arrange - big or small - including four straight years at Splashy Fen. They've also managed to scare up a lot of local radio play - notably on 5FM, where they are frequently in the Top 40 charts.

But they didn't win their fans with PR and hustle. Their brand of softly melodic pop-rock is very easy on the ear, and their better tracks are very catchy. Very much in the mould of fellow Durbanites Tree 63, SpoonFeedas are nothing if not pleasant and inoffensive. Unlike Tree 63 however, their rock is more Christian flavoured than overtly Christian, something that probably plays to their advantage with more secular audiences.

But pleasant and inoffensive as they may be, their first album also lacks any sign of the oomph needed to propel them beyond their status as a moderately successful local band. All four members are accomplished musicians and, in combination, they produce a well-polished sound. But great music takes more than practice and hard work - it takes a willingness to push limits, to challenge boundaries, to experiment, and most importantly to offend people.

I don't mean that great music requires profanities, or guitar solos that make your ears bleed. But it does require you to challenge people, even to make them uncomfortable. And SpoonFeedas are not out to make anyone uncomfortable. In fact that seems to be the antithesis of their brand of "comfort rock" - music that is warm, milky and slightly sweet with all the nasty bits carefully filtered out. As such their tracks often seem to blend into each other in a continuous stream of pop-rock fuzzy-wuzziness.

Happily all is not lost. In the midst of their best tracks, like the warmly powerful "Alone", SpoonFeedas give us a glimpse of the potential that might be unleashed if they just untucked those passions. A band with all the attitude but none of the talent would be doomed to failure eventually, since talent cannot be taught. SpoonFeedas have definite talent, now someone just needs to teach them some attitude.

- Alistair Fairweather

WHAT OTHER CRITICS THOUGHT:

It all sounds the same, and although it's certainly likeable enough, Spoonfeedas haven't differentiated themselves from all the other bands plugging away producing radio-friendly-type singles.
- Jocelyn Newmarch, iafrica.com


These softly spoken local pop-rockers need to stop worrying about stepping on our toes, turn up the volume and just kick some arse.

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