Sound — 4
Feeder have long been one of the best British rock bands around, which is why this album comes as such a shock. Some were apprehensive about their previous effort "Silent Cry", initially including me, but "Renegades" just does not have the same growing effect. It is clear that with this album, Feeder were seeking a return to the "Polythene" sound; frequently heavy riffs and anthemic vocals, but these songs sound merely like a collection of rejects for that album. The best riff comes in track 4 "Sentimental", whilst the closest you'll get to an anthem is the title track. Other than that, there is really nothing to choose from. The catchy side to "Barking Dogs" prevents it from becoming filler, but the same can not be said for the remaining ten songs, lead single "Call Out" in particular is a just a lazy effort at an upbeat, rousing anthem, setting the tone for the rest of the album.
Lyrics — 3
The lyrics are perhaps the biggest let down from Grant Nicholas on "Renegades". Nicholas is famed for the supposedly intentionally awful lyrics of "Buck Rogers" but unless the "riding on the bus" hook to "City In A Rut" is also a joke, he cannot be forgiven here. The same goes for "Call Out" where "If you wanna hear this song, you won't have to wait too long, just call out our name" makes for a pitiful attempt at an anthem. Even Nicholas' voice is not up to standard here. Whereas any Feeder fans will be completely aware of Nicholas' fantastic vocal range, here there is no demonstration of this ability, yet another disappointment.
Overall Impression — 4
I always try to refrain from being overly critical of an album, particularly when it comes to a band I am a big fan of, such as Feeder. But this is a really poor album from a band fellow fans will know is capable of so much better. Whereas there are brief moments of salvation in "Sentimental" and "Barking Dogs", I would conclude that this is Feeder's worst album yet by far.