I had high hopes for High Street Creeps. Jon Gooch, better known as FEED ME, has never really fit in any sort of genre box. His style spans from ultra catchy electro house, to hard hitting dubstep and even the occasional euphoric love song. His sophomore album is no exception to this genre-hopping and I found myself listening to each song several times over because every track is stellar in its own right – this record has teeth. High Street Creeps is FEED ME’s first studio album release on mau5trap and I feel like it is, sonically, a perfect fit for the label.
Here are my unfiltered first impressions of each track:
- Perfect Blue – The album opens with an intense progressive house song. There’s a whispery vocal sample in it that sounds like a foreign language and is quite catchy. This song sounds like it would be at home on a video game soundtrack.
- Shimmer – Did I just blow my fucking laptop speakers? No, I don’t think so. This is just some really weird distortion on the higher frequency samples… I hate it at first, but as the song goes on, I start to really dig it. Shimmer is more electro house than progressive. There’s just one vocal sample that’s backed by some catchy percussion and a killer buzzy bass line.
- Sleepless – More blown-speaker panic-inducing distortion, this time on the vocals. I still hate it at first, but the supporting track is so good, I quickly forgive it. This song is somewhat creepy and dark, the bass is driving and though it’s technically still electro house, it’s only about 10 BPM away from feeling like techno.
- Feel Love – As you may have read in my article about his first single, ‘Feel Love’, the beautiful ballad is an absolute masterpiece. Rosie Doonan’s vocals are reminiscent of Dolores O’Riordan from the Cranberries. If it weren’t for how awesome this whole album is, I’d pick this as my favorite.
- Barrel Roll – I’m not sure why, but I love when producers use funny speaking clips in their songs. Maybe I’m a basic bitch… Anyway, this song is very much reminiscent of older FEED ME tracks. The way the synths in the melody seem to spiral, it makes me feel like I’m floating through the clouds on a Mario game.
- Till the Wheels Come Off – I’m not sure who Graham Fink is (sorry, Graham), but he has a voice that feels like it would be fit for an 80’s pop song in the BEST way. He delivers this song in a way that makes me want to sing it at the top of my lungs into a hairbrush while dancing around my room. (Side note: I ended up looking up more of Graham’s music and it’s worth checking out)
- Satanic Panic – “You can’t eat Wheat Thins, John. You’re a puppet and nothing’s going to change that.” The opening line of this song is sounds way more sinister than it is, perhaps because the song is called ‘Satanic Panic’. At first, I googled “You can’t beat things, John” because I had no idea what this was from. Turns out to be a really cute Wheat Thins commercial. I digress. This song is killer… it has these really high energy 8-bit video game / 80s guitar sounding synths that are fantastic. The fact that the spoken word samples come from a Wheat Thin commercial makes me love it even more, for some reason.
- Pumpkin Eyes – I have to admit, this is my least favorite song on this album. Firstly, I find the comparison of someone’s eyes to pumpkins strange and off-putting. I also don’t tend to dig the soft rock-turned-electronic music genre in general. Thank U, Next.
- Own Ghost – This song is creepy and contagious. ‘Own Ghost’ is a vocal chopped, electro house rendering of a mental breakdown that I suspect may actually kill me on full club speakers. I would die happy, for what it’s worth. This is exactly my kind of weird and reminds me of the FEED ME and Kill The Noise collab ‘I Do Coke’
- Defiant – This song is beautiful. It blends gorgeous chords (reminiscent of Mr. mau5 himself) with deliciously layered of vocals, courtesy of Lindsay in a progressive house requiem well suited for mau5trap.
One of the things I respect most about Jon Gooch is that he has always put his love for making music and art ahead of the need to tour and DJ that most artists seems to feel, tweeting “Seems common to assume writing music means wanting to DJ – I started by accident? It’s a fun and enriching social experience but not art.” He took a highly public break from touring in 2013 to create a short film and establish his own label.
Luckily for fans, he will be supporting High Street Creeps with an appearance at Beyond Wonderland on March 22, followed by a summer tour. “We’re touring the ‘Teeth’ setup again this summer. I think it’s probably my proudest achievement. Building my show was the ultimate way to present what I do and a creative dream, and probably also my new album. It represents me getting my lifestyle under control and combining a big array of memories and chaos into something fully structured, I feel like I can move forward with more speed now.”
The tour will mark the first time the ‘Teeth’ setup has been on display since 2013, which is sure to delight old school fans. As dope as High Street Creeps is, I can’t wait to hear it live, so you can bet I’ll be there if he makes a stop anywhere around DC. Make sure to LIKE Fresh Music Freaks for more unfiltered first listens and all things music!
*Featured Image Via Instagram @feedme*