Monday, 27 April 2009

Super Furries Am Byth!

Helo pawb. Croeso i wythnos Super Furry Animals ymlaen Bathdy Cwstard (that’s meant to be ‘Hello everyone, and welcome to Super Furry Animals week on Mint Custard’ – but probably isn’t even close…)

Rejoice, for the Super Furry Animals have a new album out. After listening to the magnificent
Dark Days / Light Years all weekend I had intended to write a review, and share my tuppence worth on why people should go buy.

But then I got to thinking there is an inevitability that yet another gem by one the world’s most creative, consistent and generally fantastic groups will again receive glowing reviews, make lots of fans excited and happy and then disappear from public view until December where it will appear at #8 in every list of Albums of the Year. At this point list-makers will once again bemoan that the Super Furries
should be the biggest band on the world, people don’t deserve them and they don’t get the sales or attention they should.

If I may engage in football parlance, I have learnt through painful experience that teams that sit deep in defence don’t score many goals. I’ve therefore decided to go on the offensive, employing an attacking Furry formation with a view that scoring lots of goals early on will give the boys confidence as the campaign wears on, and lead them to greater glory. Or something like that…

Therefore I am celebrating the Australian launch of Dark Days / Light Years by dedicating this small corner of the interweb to all things SFA for the whole week. Please don't expect any partiality or logic (unless it is of the fuzziest nature). I ask Furry fans and non-Furry fans of the world to join us in celebrating the simple fact that the Super Furry Animals exist. And to forgive my terrible forays into the Welsh language…

Dark Days / Light Years: the scores on the doors

In the absence of my own review of Dark Days / Light Years (in summary: it’s all quite wonderful, apart from Crazy Naked Girls which is a bit too Spinal Tap doing Led Zeppelin for me and let’s people get away with dismissing SFA as stoner kids) the best summing up I’ve seen was in this
Pitchfork review which gave a score of 8.3 out of 10 but said why quite nicely.

The normally effusive Guardian gave a couple of cursory reviews but still gave
4/5 in one and said it might just be their best record in a decade in the other. NME gave it 8 out of10 but did that ‘Best Album since Rings Around the World’ type review which just shows that people didn’t listen properly to Love Kraft.

BBC Music doesn’t give scores but said it was a ‘fantastic set that’s all brain-filler and no buzz-killer.’ A few reviews have picked out that this is a proper old-fashioned album, meant to be listened to from start to finish, with the Quietus noting that the songs are ‘sequenced with the deftness of a DJ set.

Tiny Mix Tapes is less convinced, thinking that some of the songs are excessively long, a view shared by Culture Deluxe. I honestly disagree; the longer tracks are more about building a mood or groove than just being long for the sake of it. Tiny Mix Tapes also repeats the bizarre (but reasonably common from reviews I've seen of older SFA albums) opinion that this would be an excellent album by anyone else but the Super Furries who should know/do better. Surely a great album is a great album. Would you listen to it any less because your expectations were higher?

Anyway, back to the Furry-friendly:
Popmatters keep the average up with 8 out of 10, as does Coke Machine Glow with a 77%, sharing my review problem by admitting ‘at the risk of sounding redundant, this being Super Furry Animals, there just isn’t that much to dislike.’

So there you go; the people they say YES! If you’ve done a review and would like to post a link or just know of a good one then please drop me an email or leave a comment and we’ll spread the good word together.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 1 of an interview I did with Guto, Cian and Gruff in 2004 and other Furry goodness.

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