Remember Feeder? ‘He’s got a brand new car… it’s got leather seats, it’s got a CD player, player, player, player’. How about now? This week I’m revisiting their massive breakthrough album, Echo Park.

Feeder was music almost everyone could agree on. Indie enough for people like me, heavy enough for the nu-metal kids, catchy enough for those who just listened to chart pop. They were unlikely to get turned off in the sixth-form common room or at a party. No doubt there will have been an iconoclast or two who hated them, but generally speaking, the consensus was that Feeder were ‘alright’.

But they weren’t anyone’s favourite band, either. Whilst writing this, I asked my sister if she remembered them. With only two years between us, we used to share a lot of music back then. She replied that she bought their albums and went to their concerts without even really liking them that much.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair are so neck deep in superheroes, you’d think it was 2019, with Wonder Woman 1984 and Invincible.

But first, Nick’s continued sheltering behind comfort viewing, going all the way back to The West Wing, while Alastair stays on the cutting edge of politics with We Are The Wave.

In the end, they settle for moderate relevance by reviewing a film from late 2020 – Wonder Woman 1984 (14:37), the eagerly awaited sequel which ended up taking a pasting from reviewers – will Nick and Alastair push back at the consensus like they did with New Mutants?

Reaching the present day at last, it’s time for Amazon’s new cartoon superhero adaptation Invincible (31:50), with full stinkin’ spoilers from 39:15. And seriously, if you’re gonna watch, your hosts recommend going in without having those twists ruined if you still can.

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Got time on your hands? Yeah, me too. So how about checking out some new tunes?

Lockdown’s meant I’ve discovered more new music than I have for ages. So this week, I’m taking a break from revisiting teenage albums to share this carefully curated list (well, thrown together after a few bottles of West Country idiot juice) of covid-era releases to help get you through lockdown. I hope you enjoy them.

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It was the multi-platinum selling album that dragged British indie-rock out of the doldrums. But at the time, Is This It more or less passed me by. In this article, I’ll be revisiting this seminal debut album, and asking: in hindsight, is it all it’s cracked up to be?

The Strokes were the ultimate in don’t-give-a-fuck, New York cool. Back in high school, this gave the band associations I didn’t care for. I associated them with a certain type of apathetic trendie; the kids who’d been into Ibiza dance music just a year or two earlier and suddenly morphed into bed-haired indie fans. The least cool trait in their book was to be seen to care about anything. Whilst I was being politicised by the Iraq War, these guys directed their snark towards anti-war protesters and Bush supporters alike.

I suppose what they were afraid of was being into anything that the piss might feasibly be taken out of. This album, right down to its mildly sexually suggestive cover art, was a safe bet. They all owned it. Just like they all owned By The Way by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Consequently, I thought the album wasn’t for me.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair jump on the burning train of internet discourse and watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League, stopping on the way to take in Pacific Rim: The Black.

But first, Alastair’s still in high-concept dystopia territory with Alice In Borderland, while Nick insists on taking an early look at The Falcon & The Winter Soldier.

After which, at last, they descend slowly and dramatically into the sprawling four-hour world of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (11:13). Our heroes didn’t like Batman V Superman and found the original cut of this film pretty boring – will they finally turn round on this uncensored full-length epic version?

And last of all, a quick stop with Pacific Rim: The Black (29:53), sticking to that dystopian theme.

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This week, I’m revisiting R.E.M.’s Around The Sun – an album that really pissed me off at the time. Will time heal this most disappointing of wounds?

Context matters, so I’d better explain how I came to this album. My introduction to the colossus of alternative rock that was R.E.M. was through their excellent 2001 album, Reveal, and from there I discovered the rest: Automatic For The People, Out Of Time and Document.

R.E.M. are an enigmatic band, whose albums contained big singalong hits alongside poetic, thoughtful tracks with often quite esoteric, folk-infused lyrics. R.E.M. were, in my opinion, one of the biggest bands in the world because they were one of the best bands in the world.

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“Something of a rarity this, a Christian band who are neither Celtic nor crap,” was Q Magazine’s 1999 verdict of Delirious?, probably Britain’s most successful Christian rock group (and question mark enthusiasts). In this article, I’ll be revisiting the album Audio Lessonover? – and a teenage obsession.

In my mid-teens, Christianity was a big part of my life. Church had evolved from something I did because some of my friends attended, into a central pillar of my identity. This mostly involved trying to appear as ‘spiritual’ as possible and looking forward to going weekend Christian youth events where I would discover Delirious?.

Q Magazine had been correct; most of the music at these events wasn’t great – mainly samey worship songs. But Delirious? were different. The Christianity was inspiring, not preachy, and with their Radiohead and Manic Street Preachers influences, here was a band that not only shared and reinforced my beliefs, but was also capable of accompanying the emotional ups and downs of teenage life.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair enter the current TV discourse with a bang, bringing you their thoughts on wildly popular Marvel series WandaVision and less-discussed Netflix dystopia Tribes of Europa.

But first, Nick’s finally run out of his two comfort shows, Lucifer and New Girl, and is left bereft, while Alastair’s digging further into the Netflix menu with Code 8.

And then, at last, they catch up on WandaVision (14:38), with their thoughts on all your favourite fan theories, exactly what type of show this is and whether Agatha Harkness is common knowledge – along with, of course, full and total spoilers

Finally, and also with spoilers throughout, it’s Tribes of Europa (39:48), a Netflix series about a dystopian Europe from both the future and… about ten years ago, aesthetically speaking.

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Being a teenager sucks, but at least we’ve got music to get us through it. Recently, I’ve been revisiting the soundtrack of my teen years of the early 2000s to see how some of the albums I listened to back then stack up today.

In the first of a series of articles, I’m looking at The Stereophonics’ Just Enough Education To Perform – or ‘JEEP’ if the lawyers at Daimler-Chrysler hadn’t intervened. This one was absolutely everywhere. The distinctive green cover was to be found even on the shelves of friends whose tastes veered more towards manufactured pop or Ibiza dance music than indie-rock. Or who weren’t particularly interested in music at all.

I actually remember buying this album, queuing in the Lichfield WH Smiths to buy the CD in its security protected Perspex container, as you did back when CDs were sufficiently valuable that shops actively worried about people nicking them. I recall liking it at the time, but what about now?

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair are back to scraping at the cultural coalface of this pandemic era – Netflix movies! Specifically, Space Sweepers and The Dig.

But first, Alastair’s begun his annual Oscar movies viewing festival with Minari, while Nick’s trying to read prose again, beginning with Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, House of Government by Yuri Slezkine and A Closed And Common Orbit by Becky Chambers.

Then it’s away to the outer reaches of the galaxy with Space Sweepers (11:01), the new Netflix space movie for fans of family-friendly adventures yet also sudden death.

Lastly, they get down and dirty with The Dig (26:40), an emotionally affecting period archaeology movie with bonus sexual tension. If you’d like to check out the very good Book to Screen Club podcast episode Nick mentions and get a little more about the film’s context in both book and reality, their show is available from these links.

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

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Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!