Super Furry Animals: Dark Days/Light Years

lightyearsIf you are what you eat then I must be a Super Furry Animal, ’cause this new album is all I’ve been consuming all week. It’s “fookin’ massive”.

Unlike Hey Venus, the Furries have gotten their freak on once again and the best part? They’ve picked up their guitars and created their best slab since Rings Around The World (2002). This one may even be better, but I haven’t lived long enough with it yet to make that large a judgement.

It Starts with “Crazy Naked Girls”, a stompin’ dance floor filling slice of modern psychedelia, distorted kick drums and a smokin’ Zappa influenced guitar solo in the middle and again at the end. Niiiiccceeee.

The next song, “Mt.”, starts quiet with an acoustic guitar setting a serious mood until you hear the lyrics: “I wasn’t lookin’ for a mountain/big was the mountain/it was a big fookin’ mountain/so I climbed the mountain/it was no ordinary mountain/it was a strange lookin’ mountain/but when I got to the top it was 2 foot tall/it was ooohhh, sooo small.” And therin lies part of the Furries genius, their ability to mix breathtaking musicianship with seemingly innane lyrics, and they never, ever take themselves too seriously.

“Moped Eyes” could have been on last years Gruff Rhys side project, “Neon Neon” with it’s 80’s beats and sing song chorus and that goes double for the next track, “Inagural Trams”. Not standouts, but pretty good.

The next three, however, ARE standounts. “Inconvenience” is another barn burner with a chorus that you won’t be able to get out of your head for days, “Cardiff In The Sun” sounds like what U2 would be doing now if they were still relevant and “The Very Best Of Neil Diamond”, the most excellent and funny name for a song ever, is all mood and all very dramatic with it’s wall of echo-y guitars and burbling synths.

“Helium Hearts” is possibly the most traditional song on the album, 2:50 of pure pop.

“White Socks/Flip Flops” is my favorite song on the album. Metronomic drums anchor the Cheap Trick guitar stabs throughout, keyboards add immense color and the vocals are controlled but manic once they get to the hey hey hey’s before the second chorus. It’s the most groove oriented and driver friendly song on the album, but it has the sound of a classic 70’s song as well. Like Sniff n The Tears “Driver’s Seat” for a new generation. Brilliant.

“Where Do You Wanna Go?” is all sixties sunny beach pop as is the follow up “Lliwiau Llachar”.

The album ends with “Pric”, which is a friggin’ monster kraut rocker which jams for about 5 and a half minutes before petering out into ambiant space noises for the remaining 4 or so minutes.

Overall, this is my favorite album of the year so far, and hey! Check out the fantastic cover art, eh?