Record review: Eden Mulholland – Feed The Beast (2013, LP)

Eden Mulholland

Feed The Beast is the debut solo album from Motocade singer Eden Mulholland, and follows his 2012 Jesus Don’t You Get My Jokes EP. Listing influences like Bill Bryson, contemporary dance, smokes, and sex (probably not at the same time), New Zealander Mulholland effortlessly skips between genres with aplomb on this assured effort. Recorded and mixed by Neil Baldock (Crowded House, Sarah Blasko) in Auckland, Feed The Beast features elements of pop, rock, folk, tribal rhythms, and electronica packed into twelve three-minute tracks. The fact that the opening trio of songs are a catchy stomp (‘Cry Cry Cry’), a gently-ambling number (‘Mekong Delta’) and soaring pop song that starts as a maudlin piano ballad (‘Where Is My Jealousy’) probably says a lot about the variety of sounds on show, and Mulholland’s defiance of classification in general. Single ‘I Will Echo’ is a mid-album high point; a deceptively simple synth-pop song with a sing-along chorus and neat keyboard breaks. The 86-second acoustic title track certainly isn’t the centrepiece, and almost goes unnoticed between the shimmering electronica of ‘Body Double’ and the sound of science fiction nightmares on ‘Beside Itself’. ‘Such A Shame You Must Die’ is by far the most haunting track here, with soaring, ghost-like vocal harmonies and ominous lyrics like “I’m going to find you, I’m going to kill you; you will suffer tonight.” (Mental note: don’t get on Mulholland’s bad side.) Describing Feed The Beast is tricky, as there’s so much going on in such a small space, but the quality and variety of tunes makes this an album worthy of repeated listens. (Mushroom Music)

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