After a 12-year break, pop-rockers Screamfeeder are back with their seventh album, Pop Guilt. With several prolific names attached to its production including Brad Wood (Veruca Salt, Placebo), Paul Kolderie (Dinosaur Jr, The Lemonheads, Radiohead) and Wayne Connolly (The Vines, Died Pretty), the album promises a great deal.

Pop Guilt follows the same noisy but upbeat sound of previous albums, with Tim Steward and Kellie Lloyd’s lyrics musing on forming relationships and dealing with the emotional fallout when they collapse. Both singers exchange lead vocals on several tracks, at times sharing the stage for some lovely sounding harmonies.

Steward’s own guitar work provides plenty of catchy riffs, with particular rapid-fire urgency on lead single Alone In A Crowd, while Dean Shwereb’s drumming comes through powerfully here and with marching band-like force on Karen Trust Me.

Other standout tracks are Half Lies, with its increasing and decreasing tempo creating an emotional rollercoaster of a track; the short but frantic Going To California; and two slower-paced songs Not Afraid and Falling, the latter with its distorted guitars and echoing vocals feeling almost like a return to the shoegazing era of The Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.

In all, this album is a fun little selection of upbeat pop-rock tunes. It could be argued that the album doesn’t break any new ground, but with a career spanning 25 years perhaps Screamfeeder have no further need to prove themselves. The album will appeal to anyone who appreciates loud yet catchy rock tunes, and what it does, it does perfectly.

4/5

Screamfeeder – Pop Guilt

Released: 21 April, 2017 via FOUR FOUR