Super Furry Animals

Super Furry Animals

Super Furry Animals

Songbook – The Singles

Epic

I love singles collections. I also love Greatest Hits and Best Ofs. I know there is a certain element of the record-buying masses who snort their derision at such releases, claiming they “dilute the true meaning of an artist’s vision” or something. Perhaps they do, but it is a compromise that means you don’t have to listen to the filler that ALL bands inevitably produce. Hell, even The Beatles had “Octopus’s Garden.”

Now, I don’t know how well known the Super Furry Animals are beyond the borders of Europe, but this retrospective is a fitting excuse to revel in the work of a band who is one of the most innovative, unclassifiable and downright weird bands to have been making music over the last ten years.

Hailing from Wales and equally capable of producing gems sung in Welsh or English, SFA manage to take all manner of eclectic influences and weave them into songs that dazzle in their scope while laden with pop hooks that stick in your memory like a regretted love affair. They sound like The Beach Boys would have if they had had Pro Tools and all that electro gubbins.

“Northern Lites” is based on an insistent trumpet line. “The International Language of Screaming” is a folk-punk blast, while “Juxtaposed With U” is kind of like Air crossed with a teenage Elvis. If he was Welsh.

The Super Furries are also able to conjure up some of the most bonkers-brilliant lyrics this side of Syd Barrett’s reptilian jottings. Some examples: “Stop! Said the puppy, when I met him at the zebra cross,” “She’s got ice hockey hair/It’s systematic and it has such flair” and “Oh my God!/We’re getting hippy-dippy/5-6-7 man, I’m in heaven and I’m growing my beard until it gets sheared.”

From the beautiful ballad “Demons” to the expletive-driven groove of “The Man Don’t Give A Fuck,” this is a testament to the genius of true mavericks.

Super Furry Animals: www.superfurry.com

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