The Super Furry Animals – The alternative take

What do you need to know about them?

The Super Furry Animals formed in the early nineties. Are a Welsh rock / pop / tecno band with leanings toward psychedelic rock. In late 1995 they were signed to Creation records, the home of Oasis, and Primal Scream. They sing mostly in English, but there have been welsh tracks and a welsh language album. They have more ideas on most of their albums than a lot of bands have in a lifetime. They’re a little bit mad in places, but lots of fun.

Where did I first become acquainted?

Towards the end of my first year, when I was still at university,  the band played live. I didn’t see them. Then I saw a great review for their first album, a great deal on price, and bought it. I realised my mistake. Thankfully I have seen them live since. I’ve bought every album since (including the welsh one). Their second album “Radiator” reminds me so much of university, and I like it so much that it is in my all time top ten album list. It is fabulous.

One time I went to a free tv taping for some Japanese tv show at the now demolished London Astoria. The gig was so loud that afterwards I have a memory of my friend and I shouting at each other in Virgin Megastore on Oxford street (which I think is also gone now), with most other people in there looking at us. We didn’t realise we were shouting. The ringing in our ears was blocking it out. Still there was a good version of “Night vision” and an awe inspiring version of “the man don’t give a f*ck”, which sent the Astoria’s legendary bouncy floor, a bouncing. Short of them coming out as Nazi’s or racists, it was hard not to love them after that.

Actually I think this might be it here (Youtube you are cuddly and brilliant, and me, why did I never look on Youtube for this before now, [numpty]?).

Ok that was the song. The audio isn’t fantastic on this clip, and it doesn’t seem as amazing as I remember, although still very good. I guess you had to be there.

What to buy:

About three or four albums back, a friend had listened to some singles and wanted to get into the band. He had noticed the albums were in a sale and wondered where to start. It’s simple I said, buy all of them. I would almost say that now, but start with these:

  • Radiator – Their second album and personally my favourite. I mentioned above this is in my all time top ten albums.
  • Guerrilla – The third album, and one where they had a few minor hits. A good mix of pop, and “noise”. It was after this one came out that I saw the Japanese tv taping.
  • Fuzzy Logic – The debut album, the most rock, and the least electronic. It is not conventional rock, and contains lots of melody. It’s great.
  • Rings around the World – The first on the “Epic” label. Considered the most polished and accessible although personally I prefer the three above.
  • Dark days / Light Years – The latest album, more of a return to form.

Some key tracks to listen to:

Lots of tracks, but start with these:

  • God! Show me magic
  • Bad behaviour
  • She’s got spies
  • Hermann loves Pauline
  • The man don’t give a f*ck
  • Do or die
  • Night vision
  • It’s not the end of the world?
  • Juxtaposed with you
  • The undefeated
  • Slow life
There are plenty of other good tracks, some which make more sense in the context of the album. Or listen to some tracks here.

Anything to avoid?

Personally I’m not keen on Love kraft. If you’ve no interest in the Welsh language you may have no interest in Mwng either (although it does sound good).

Anything else?

They have their own website here. There is a good fan site here. You know how songs or albums come round in cycles, by which I mean, you may love a band, listen to them for a while, then they go away for a while? Then one day you get in the mood and recall how good they are, and listen to them again? I hadn’t listened to the furries for a while but when I started typing this, I realised how much I love this band.

Gruff Rhys has a decent solo career check out Candylion. He also made a good album with Boom Bip as “Neon Neon” called Stainless Style (a loose concept album around the creator of the Delorean motor).

Enjoy!

Lexicon word of the day: Consentient.

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