Super Furry Animals have been around since 1996 when they released Fuzzy Logic. SFA have seven albums in total and Radiator is my personal favorite out of the four that I own. SFA are an alt/rock band that blend a lot of different styles of music together. If you want to compare this band to other bands I would say they sound like a blend of The Beach Boys and Radiohead. Their music is poppy, sort of weird, and it has great lyrics. If they are one thing, SFA are definately unique.
Members : Gruff Rhys - Vocals, electric & acoustic guitar
Dafydd Ieuan - Drums, vocals, percussion
Cian Ciaran - Piano , electronics
Guto Pryce - Bass, Sub Bass
Huw Bunford - Electric guitar, vocals
The first time you listen to the Super Furry Animals it may just sound like a mess of staticky noise. At least that was what it sounded like to me the first time I listened to this album. Gruff's voice sounded really weird and it was really hard to understand. The instruments also sound very strange and it just sounds like a bunch of noise at first. This album takes at least three to five listenes to get into so if you don't like it at first don't throw a hissy fit, it will all get better. Once you listen to the album a few times things all start to unravel such as funky bass lines and smooth electronics.
If you've never heard of SFA they sound sort of like a blend of The Beach Boys, and Radiohead, or maybe even the Flaming Lips. The music is catchy and at the same time is sort of hard to listen to. SFA combine a lot of instruments into there music to make things interesting. If you want something different and unique, then you will love Radiator. Every song sounds different and Super Furry Animals will always keep you guessing what comes next. This album goes from the catchy "Play It Cool" to the dark, and psychadelic "Demons" all the way over to a mellow, orchastra type song "Mountain People." "Download" is without a doubt the most beautiful song on the album, it makes you feel like your floating in space with the river sounding water effect and the sleazy guitar hook. "The International Language of Screaming" is the most upbeat and straight forward rock song on the album with its wacky chorus and lazer beam effect.. "Radiator" is as unique as it gets.
Super Furry Animals use a wide variety of instruments on this album. The trumpet on "Demons" is awesome and makes the song the standout track on the album. "She's Got Spies" uses a ton of instruments like the flute, trombone, and the saxophone. Even though those are three brass instruments the music doesn't sound like it has any horns in it. The horns simply back up the music. On "Mountain People" violins and cellos are used to make it a very slow, mellow, and super catchy track. Once again the string instruments don't dominate the track but they make it more full and complete. "Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir" features an electric harpsichord. SFA use a ton of instruments which makes the music very interesting. Some of these songs may sound the same at first, but once you start listening to them more and more they become better and better each time you listen.
As for the vocals, they are soft and mellow on some tracks, and on other tracks they can be loud and harsh. On "Bass Tuned To D.E.A.D" the vocals are soft and mellow. "The International Language of Screaming" features some of the loudest and quickest vocal parts on the album. You have to get used to the vocals because they will sound sort of odd at first, but once you listen more they will get better.
Musically SFA are at their best. They have catchy and complicated hooks throughout there music. They have just as much of energy as a heavy metal band, and you can tell they are putting energy into every song and they're trying hard. They combine psychadelic-rock and electronic beats over fuzzy guitars, drums and vocals. There music is confusing because they cram a lot of genres in there songs and still manage to make catchy, and melodic songs. It amazes me how SFA do it. Like I said, at first it may just sound like a bunch of noise but then you realize that they combine genres(mainly psychadelic rock, indie, and electronic) If you want complex, catchy music with a lot of instruments than SFA is definitely for you.
Lyrically Super Furry Animals are great. They can be bizarre at points and sometimes they can be great "Demons" "Placid Casual." I don't know what to think about the gibberish of "Torra Fy Gwallt Yn Hir." The lyrics are decent and have some depth but it isn't anything mind-blowing. If you want some lyrical depth than you can try this out but for me the lyrics are just great, nothing amazing.
If you want to get into Super Furry Animals I would start with "Guerilla" or their new album "Love Kraft" just because the songs and the albums are easier to get into. "Radiator" has a little more depth lyrically and musically than the other SFA albums that I own. Once again there are a countless number of instruments used and the music is oddly catchy and confusing. The vocals and the music will sound odd at first but after a few listens then you will realize the greatness of SFA. The music is fuzzy, rockish, mellow, and psychadelic all at the same time. This band is amazing and you should definately check this out.
Overall rating 4.5/5
A lot of instruments used to make the music intersting
Ultra catchy songs and great melodies
A lot of genres put together to make great music
Sounds like a lot of noise at first few listens
Vocals are hard to adjust to
Super Furry Animals are a great band and this album is excellent in so many aspects. I highly recommend this album to someone who wants unique, catchy, and fun music. Super Furry Animals are an amazing band that you should definately check out if you get the opportunity.