Review: Super Furry Animals

Super Furry Animals
“Phantom Power”
(XL Recordings/Beggars Group)

When it comes to Super Furry Animals you must remember one thing: as bad as you might think it sounds, you can make terrific tracks by mixing transient drum and bass with full-on twangy harmonica rock.  However, where in most bands this would be their whole bag of tricks, Super Furry Animals continues to amaze you with the types of sounds they’’ll pair up.  The list of unholy, but holy musical marriages goes on.

Most tracks on “Phantom Power” are sure to include ambient orchestras and quiet, clean guitars that keep the melody of the songs going.  Then the slide guitar is beautifully mixed with straight up beats and changed again mid-song to become a multi-dimensional rock song ending with a lonesome trumpet.  These comparisons get into a little of the history of this band because like Beck Hansen, Super Furry Animals has never made an album that sounds the same.

You have 1996’s highly acclaimed “Fuzzy Logic”, with an orchestra of strings and brass, the emotional and depressing “Radiator”, and the album featuring Paul McCartney making the sounds of eating a carrot during the seminal 60’s flower-pop-meets-death-metal “Rings Around The World”.  SFA’s lead singer Gruff Rhys has been quoted as jokingly saying “we could have gotten Paul McCartney singing like a Beatle, but we got him to chew some carrots and celery”, which is just fucking classic.  Once more, the band releases DVD audio discs with original videos for each song.  Britain’’s best-kept secret, make them yours!