With the release of this their seventh album on the then-new label Epic, The Stranglers wanted to shake things up a bit, veer off on a tangent and explore new sounds and push back those punk boundaries they never felt a part of anyway.

This expanded reissue on coloured vinyl and two-disc CD is celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary I thought that this day would even be of any significance in the band’s rich tapestry of a career.

With the synthesisers and electronic drums to the fore, ‘Feline’ delved into a much more diverse career path for the band, with a more European feel to proceedings. Recently departed David Greenfield is very prominent in the mix.

So that’s the early 80s with synths and acoustic guitars over electric, a new wave was certainly in the air. The press at the time was most unkind probably because it didn’t fit into any comfortable genre of convenience and we still know that that is never good. It did, however, follow on from the absolute monster crossover hit that was ‘Golden Brown’ which might have signalled the band’s shift into new more comfortable shoes perhaps?

The opener ‘Midnight Summer Dream’ with its mellow intro and snapping 80s synth the transformation was underway. The spoken vocals of Hugh Cornwell were also supported by Jean-Jacques Burnells lead vocals on the single ‘European Female’, via the acoustic-driven ‘Small World’. Maybe looking back and the power of hindsight it’s now no big deal to hear this twisted New Wave experimental Stranglers but back in the day it was a big deal and punk rock points were most certainly removed.

Whilst still very much a Stranglers album, with the power of hindsight there are a lot of chances taken by a brave band who didn’t follow convention nor pay lip service to the press its an experiment that clearly didn’t really hamper the band at all and looking back possibly with more grown-up eyes and ears there is a bigger appreciation for this brave new world the men in black stepped into.

The initial press of ‘Feline’ had ‘Aural Sculpture Manifesto’ single sided single which is part of the second disc along with a plethora of different mixes, like ‘Savage Breast’ and ‘Pawsher’ and the reggae-infused ‘Permission’ so there are no excuses not to get the full picture of where the band were at in 1983.

If you passed this by the first time around now is the chance to play it back and have a newfound appreciation for the band spreading its creative tentacles far and wide and not just churning out the thumping bass-driven alternative rock they were known for.

order here 👉https://stranglers.tmstor.es/

Author: Dom Daley