In the history of rock ‘n’ roll, many cities have been the home of great bands – Memphis, New York, San Francisco, London, Manchester, Wales. Wales?
Yes, you read that right. Now, some of the most interesting and exciting bands are coming out of Wales, such as the Manic Street Preachers and Catatonia, to name two. The band Super Furry Animals can be added to that list with the release of its album Radiator (Flydaddy) in America.
Put simply, the music of Super Furry Animals is as fun as its name. The band meshes the sounds of techno, psychedelia and British pop. The album begins with the melodic instrumental “Furryvision,” which lulls the listener into believing the album is sedate and laidback. That image of the album is negated with such rocking songs as “The Placid Casual” and “The International Language of Screaming.” The latter song shows that Super Furry Animals has a great ear for pop hooks, with a la-la-la chorus that’s sure to stick in your head for a long time.
The band has a great skill for ballads. The track “Demons” is one of the prettiest songs to come around in a long time. Gruff Rhys’s high-pitched voice perfectly complements the dreamy, spaced-out tune. Other ballads, such as “She’s Got Spies,” are a bit trickier. The song starts out with the same dreamy tone as other ballads, but then breaks into a power-chorus that would fit perfectly into any great Brit-pop song.
Radiator also comes with another disc of B-sides and rarities. “The Man Don’t Give a Fuck” opens the second disc of the set. This track holds the dubious honor of having the most instances of the F-word – around 57.
Many of the songs on the second disc have Welsh titles and are sung in the band’s native language. But it doesn’t matter you can’t understand the words because the music is fun. Super Furry Animals always has had a strong predilection for its native tongue, even though they had been told it would damage sales in the United States. It wouldn’t matter if they were spouting gibberish – the music still would be great.
Radiator shows that a band can take chances, incorporate various styles, do its own thing and have it all work out in the end. Hopefully, the Super Furry Animals will continue to make albums like this one.