Super Furry Animals : S/D

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What should I get? I've heard the first album, and "Hometown Unicorn" was good, but the rest didn't live up to my standards. Now what?

Sensory Deprivation (Rahul Kamath), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 20:42 (seventeen years ago) link

S: 1st 2 eps (if you're a londoner get yourslef down to buy sell exchange in notting hill, i just sold my copies at the weekend; not a very good recommendation but i was strapped for cash). one of them is orange and called 'moog droog' and the other is green and called 'that-welsh-train-station-that-has-a-very-long-name (in space)' i think. they're both very good and worth having as products. also, the welsh one 'mwng' is good, and 'guerilla' may have been the late '90's equivalent to the first pink floyd album. erm, i don't like them much anymore tho' so don't take my word for it.

s magnet, Wednesday, 30 October 2002 20:48 (seventeen years ago) link

It's been long-established that my tastes are fairly perverse when it comes to bands like this, but I thought Rings Around the World was really quite good, and one of those albums that I actually liked pretty much all the way through (the big hit single excepted, I mean, what the fuck?). I thought Radiator was pretty cool, esp "She's Got Spies". Other days, I think my favourite thing about the band pre-Rings is all of their little cartoon characters, especially on the t-shirts. Huh.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 20:52 (seventeen years ago) link

The cartoon characters are around, just found in different locations. ;-) I loved 'the hit single,' it was like a Love Boat theme song for hatred.

So yeah, great great band -- I think they haven't made a bad album yet and they've had some just killer singles over the year. However, having seen them twice this year (Arthur -- don't ask but I somehow got into the show earlier this month by the skin of the teeth!), I think they should pull a Steely Dan/XTC and quit the road. Both shows were solid without being flat out truly wonderful, and nobody in the band seemed really thrilled, and a lot of the detail in their songs is either lost or a bit crushed live. But maybe they just need to shake things up a bit in general!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 21:04 (seventeen years ago) link

I like pretty much everything they've done - the great pop-rock band of the last few years IMHO. I like the live shows as well, although they are RUBBISH at choosing setlists, and therefore some are better than others.

Search - The Man Don't Give A Fuck, Mountain People, Run Christian Run, Gathering Moss, Play It Cool, Smoking, Ice Hockey Hair, Juxtaposed With U, a lot of Mwng, Some Things Come From Nothing, Bad Behaviour, God Show Me Magic, hell, most of them.

Destroy - The first song on Mwng, Shoot Doris Day, Fire In My Heart, Wherever I Lay My Phone (That's My Home), the drum'n'bass one on Guerilla.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 21:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Sensory Deprivation, you have the most apposite pseudonym if "God! Show Me Magic", "Something For The Weekend" and "Gathering Moss", not to mention the entire rest of the album don't come up to scratch.

If you can't get to Notting Hill, some of the rare early stuff is on Out Spaced, which works very well as an album as compilations go.

Anyway,
Search: "Hermann Loves Pauline" and "Ice Hockey Hair", at least. Come on, people, your life will not be complete if you fail to heed this advice. Everything else they've ever done.
Destroy: Oh alright, "The Man Don't Give A Fuck". You're not having anything else, though, this band is one of the greats.

Mike (mratford), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 21:19 (seventeen years ago) link

have you heard the secret track on guerilla btw? the one where you have to re-wind the cd FROM track 1? that should've been the album's centre point. i agree matt, most of their wack songs are attempts at dance music, even tho' they're all generally into dance music opposed to trying to be hip/ironic. (i believe Cian Ciaran releases gabba records on Ankst or some such). some of their early stuff sounds alot like Chrome. man this thread has A. made me regret selling all the sfa records i owned and B. destroyed my (self percieved) playa image.
some of their b-sides are stunning, check (someone will have to guess the titles for me) the one about glow in the dark sharks (???) on the back of 'something for the weekend', 'calimero'... well alot of the early b-sides were great but in welsh so i won't embarrass myself by trying to name them. i suggest you DEFFO search everything up to 'Radiator', whence they came more like wings than sparks.

s magnet, Wednesday, 30 October 2002 21:29 (seventeen years ago) link

in fact i'd say they're the best b-sides band evah... not that that's a particularly helpful description.

s magnet, Wednesday, 30 October 2002 21:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Both shows were solid without being flat out truly wonderful, and nobody in the band seemed really thrilled, and a lot of the detail in their songs is either lost or a bit crushed live.

What the...? First time I've heard anybody dissatisfied with a SFA gig; let alone two. The detail was "a bit crushed live"? Those guys are meticulous about every last utterance and effect...

Their 2002 US tour was glorious... even if it was toned down from their UK set.

Perplexed Root, Wednesday, 30 October 2002 22:17 (seventeen years ago) link

saw them twice on this tour, as well -- once was bliss, once was muddy and poor. Could be the acoustics in the venues that did it (they played at two diff. places).

scott pl. (scott pl.), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 22:39 (seventeen years ago) link

If you were at the LA shows, then we can argue the point. ;-) And at both LA shows, the performances were good but not enthusiastic, the recreations of the songs so straightforward to the point that I could have just put the DVD on and watched that most of the time -- and with the muddy sound at the El Rey in particular, details WERE lost, trust me. They just didn't seem all that thrilled to be there both times, nearly six months apart, and while I can easily ascribe that to being in LA, board semi-regular donut bitch in Seattle described similar vibes up there (and he's as much a fan as I).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 22:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Destroy - The first song on Mwng, Shoot Doris Day, Fire In My Heart, Wherever I Lay My Phone (That's My Home), the drum'n'bass one on Guerilla.

They're all among my favourite SFA songs! Well, I can live without FIMH but the rest of 'em fock, esp WILMP(TMH). So there.

Charlie (Charlie), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 22:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Ice Hockey Hair! What a fucking tune!

welsh nutta, Wednesday, 30 October 2002 23:17 (seventeen years ago) link

I love FIMH! There's something wrong with me. Rings Around The World was a bit of a let down for me, especially after the tour-de-fource that was Guerrilla. Which I regularly see being thrown out for like a dollar in some stores. (Buy it, you imbeciles!)

Search: The Turning Tide, Receptacle For The Respectable, It's Not The End Of The World, Northern Lites, Some Things Come From Nothing, Ice Hockey Hair, God Show Me Magic!, and ooh.. lots more.

Destroy: International Language Of Screaming, Alternate Route To Vulcan Street.

edward o (edwardo), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 23:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Ned's right, that was my experience at the El Rey, too. I seem to only catch them on off nights.

Arthur (Arthur), Wednesday, 30 October 2002 23:50 (seventeen years ago) link

"Radiator" is the only one I can play in its entirety, over a long period of time. Get "Radiator" next, for sure. There's a smattering of great songs on all their other albums, but they also have a handful of meandering, half-assed, quirky in-joke numbers that grate pretty quickly. The highlights on "Guerrilla" and "Rings..." are SUPERB, so if you dig Radiator, you should check em out. I always think of them as a great band, and a Super Furries Best Of would be a breathtaking album, but I don't think they've delivered on their potential over the course of an album yet.

Great Furries Songs - Play it Cool, Northern Lites, The Turning Tide, Something For the Weekend, It's not the End of the World, Download, and many more.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Thursday, 31 October 2002 00:20 (seventeen years ago) link

my fave is geurilla. i like all of the records but my least fave is mwng mainly because i can't sing along and it gets kinda folk-proggy at some points. the ballads on the last album are a bit ponderous and dull.
i agree with ned's live synopsis, the fact that ciaran had his little machine that could reproduce strnags and horns and everything else with a touch of a button made it seem like a jesus jones concert. and then when they went through the sitting down dirge phase of 'presidential suite', 'no sympathy', 'run christian run' they nearly put everyone in the theater to sleep.

keith (keithmcl), Thursday, 31 October 2002 01:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, from accounts of a uber Super Furries fan who traveled up the west coast to see all the shows, she said the Seattle show I saw that tour was the best. And it was a fun time... the sound was just fine, and they played more songs than any other set of that wing of the tour.

Overall though, I think SFA just seem uncomfortable playing live in general. One of the things they're afraid to try, IMHO, is to make the live shows more raw, stripped down, and lacking all the colors, characters, and video/tech hoopla. Everyone agrees that their best moments live were the songs they added to the set last minute without any video accompaniment.

I had a chance to see them a few weeks ago, but I turned it down, because I figured it would be the same thing... and, as Ned hinted, it was.

Maybe SFA should just pull an XTC.

donut bitch (donut), Thursday, 31 October 2002 01:57 (seventeen years ago) link

I like pretty much everything they've done, although I found Mwng a bit boring apart from the ace Ysbeidiau Heulog (Welsh people may now laugh at my spelling) and I haven't actually heard the last album. However, if you don't like the first album, not even God! Show Me Magic, I'm not sure there's much else that could win you over.

Rebecca (reb), Thursday, 31 October 2002 02:15 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't know. I'm more pleased by the later stuff than the earlier stuff. With the exception of "God! Show Me Magic" and a few others, I don't really enjoy "Fuzzy Logic" anymore, but "Rings" and "Guerrilla" are still ace ace ace!

donut bitch (donut), Thursday, 31 October 2002 02:56 (seventeen years ago) link

will probably post more but basically if you only own one album it has to be mwng...

robin (robin), Thursday, 31 October 2002 04:29 (seventeen years ago) link

SFA simply rule live !!! You can't blame a band for bad acoustics at any given performance.

End of fucking story.

Back to the crux of the thread, pick up Radiator and Rings Around the World, and you're in a world of musical joy.

Tim D, Thursday, 31 October 2002 06:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I've generally found their gigs to be pretty damn great. Especially the time at Glastonbury that some nutter drove a landrover at great speed into the crowd until he was forced to stop and then people climbed all over it and started dancing on the roof till the driver got out and starting hitting them.

And of course they palyed Mountain People and the Man Don't Give A Fuck. I'm not sure there's any of their albums I don't like. Definitly some less fine moments on all of them but basically all good. Possibly they'll release a Greatest hits album that will be really great.

tigerclawskank, Thursday, 31 October 2002 10:51 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
Search: anyone who might want to buy a ticket for Thursday's London show - a mate of mine has (i think) three spares going for face value.

Destroy: you don't want me to destroy you, surely?

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Wednesday, 7 April 2004 17:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Search:
MWNG has some great songs, but it's not representative of the bands sound.
RADIATOR and GUERILLA are sheer mad fun, though, very boffo cool.
Buy today, kids.

Destroy:
I can't bring to mind a single rubbish SFA song. But FUZZY LOGIC
and RINGS AROUND THE WORLD must have a few.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Thursday, 8 April 2004 02:45 (fifteen years ago) link

Search: Everything really, but I think newbies are best served to go backwards - start with the warm, inviting PP, then the slicker-but-harsher Rings, and to the techno'ed-out Guerilla (or the odd but lovely Mwng, I can't remember which is more recent), and so forth. A wonderfully consistent discography, and they'll have a smashing singles comp someday.

Destroy: Actually, by now I don't think much of "The Man Don't Give a Fuck", although I'm sure it's a headbanger at live shows.

Simon H., Thursday, 8 April 2004 03:04 (fifteen years ago) link

SEARCH: everything
DESTROY: nothing

Absolutely one of the greatest bands of all time.

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Thursday, 8 April 2004 04:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Search: "Arnofio/Glo In The Dark" & "Focus Pocus/Debiel" from Outspaced (basically anything with a forward slash in the title must be a winner) -- but really you can't go wrong with anything they've ever released.

Destroy: absolutely nothing. Mr Snrub OTM.

the impossible shortest special path! (the impossible shortest specia), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:16 (fifteen years ago) link

As time goes by, it becomes more and more clear that they peaked with Guerilla and will not rescale that mountain.
Guerilla = A+ classic however, so Search that as if your life depended on it.

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:20 (fifteen years ago) link

But even now the new material still blows away a sizable proportion of other (non-SFA) stuff out there...

the impossible shortest special path! (the impossible shortest specia), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:22 (fifteen years ago) link

I saw them on Friday and they were pretty fine. It was a bit weird watching them in a half-full venue in their manor (although it's like twice the size of most of the other places they play) but I think and hope it means they've filtered out all the dickheads who just tag along because they're Welsh and therefore have to be good. Played a lot of stuff off the second album, if that appeals to you. *looks up* Ah yes.

Turn up early for Zabrinski as well, they're a good band and good guys.

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:25 (fifteen years ago) link

So anyway, back to my original question: anybody wanna buy some tickets for tonight's London show? My mate's been left in the shit and has four tickets for sale at face value (about £15-£18 I'd guess). Mail offlist if you want 'em. End of message.

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Talking about 'hidden tracks':

One of the LPs has a seven inch single hidden in the gatefold front sleeve part. This contains a 'lock groove' the contents of which I don't know.

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:53 (fifteen years ago) link

SFA are one of the greatest and most consistent bands!
they rock

Mr Monket (apn99), Thursday, 8 April 2004 10:21 (fifteen years ago) link

Destroy: Actually, by now I don't think much of "The Man Don't Give a Fuck", although I'm sure it's a headbanger at live shows.

I first heard "The Man Don't Give a Fuck" live, actually. They had a video synced to it, too, with Lenin and Stalin inciting crowds. It FUCKING SMOKED.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 8 April 2004 13:27 (fifteen years ago) link

five months pass...
I was listening to Guerilla again (which is all I have apart from Outspaced which I never really got into but then didn't give much a chance either), and what always surprises me is how dedicated the band seems/seemed to be to their ethos of sonic pluralism. Like, how the bassline in "Night Vision" actually sounds like it comes from some contemporaneous techstep track.

What gets in the way of it being utterly perfect for me is that there's a certain jokiness about the songs which feels like it's trying to be both earnest *and* an escape clause, like if it's straight earnest then the post-Britpop crowd would become suspicious (this especially marrs the otherwise great "Wherever I Lay My Phone...". Which is a shame because I can sort of see the band gesturing towards A.R. Kane I territory at times, and the moments I love are those which just sound too emotional, cracking with big big feelings ("Turning Tide", "Northern Lites"). But the sonic largesse and the emotional largesse don't seem to co-incide all that often.

I have a feeling I might like Mwyng. What would people suggest?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 11 September 2004 23:55 (fifteen years ago) link

i think i have the opposite reaction, when they get all ponderous on things like 'no sympathy' for me then they generally lose their appeal. gruff's bright, surely, but he's not particularly insightful into politics or any of the heavier issues, better to have his comic take like on a song like 'hermann loves pauline' or 'hanging out with howard marks' than to have to listen to his overly sincere literal side. 'wherever i lay my phone...' is nicely incoherent though, maybe for me this is their ideal space, less focused jokes, more random thoughts, random noises.

keith m (keithmcl), Sunday, 12 September 2004 00:14 (fifteen years ago) link

Tim, I think you helped me put a finger on the precise deficiencies of "Rings Around the World". Besides the fact that they tried to make "Guerilla Pt. 2" (trying to make the same album again, only better, is rarely a good idea, IMO), the emotional moments weren't very emotional. Big epics like "Run Xtian Run" should have carried a big weight, but didn't. It still felt like it was part of a big joke they were trying to tell, and I never felt that way with things like "Turning Tide" or "Fire in My Heart" from "Guerilla".

"Mwng", of course, is their no-frills album. Almost none of the sonic largesse that's in abundance on their previous albums. Relative to their other work, it's always sounded flat to me. So much of the fun of SFA is hearing them effortlessly morph a ballad into a techno track.

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Sunday, 12 September 2004 00:26 (fifteen years ago) link

that there's a certain jokiness about the songs which feels like it's trying to be both earnest *and* an escape clause

I think you have also just described the Orb! (Simon Reynolds I think said something similar about them back in 1993.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 12 September 2004 00:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Barry's description about the lack of largesse holds re: Mwng, but I'm quite fond of it. Nothing on it quite has the perfect hit of "Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir" from Radiator, though.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 12 September 2004 00:51 (fifteen years ago) link

I should note that for me jokiness and giddiness are not synonymous. I love the slightly humorous, unhinged quality to stuff like "Turning Tide" and wouldn't want the band to be more "serious" than that really.

Ned would i like Radiator do you think?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 12 September 2004 03:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I think so! It's a very good album, has a good balance of the dreamy and frenetic and reflective, and is probably the one I've listened to the most out of all them, and there's enough odd stuff going on in the corners which matches with that note about being contemporaneous without forcing it. It was a sophomore album that didn't just repeat the debut, always a good sign.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 12 September 2004 04:00 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd forgotten just how awesome "Keep The Cosmic Trigger Happy" is. I think whenever I look at the title it annoys me so I convince myself I don't like the song itself.

Wow I'm so indie at the moment!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 13 September 2004 12:50 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow I'm so indie at the moment!

should write about some of it on skykicking

Michael B, Monday, 13 September 2004 13:00 (fifteen years ago) link

but Michael then I'd be competing with the rest of the interweb! And Seth from the O.C! No way could I stand the pressure.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 13 September 2004 13:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Search as if your life depends on it: Mwng
Search: Radiator & Phantom Power
Destroy: Rings Around The World

Also check out the newly released Am Byth by Ffa Coffi Pawb. Pre-SFA band with Gruff and Daf. Catchy tunes and well worth purchasing. It reveals that Gruff had an unnatural Jesus & Mary Chain obsession tho...

Molly Mc Butter, Monday, 13 September 2004 15:14 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, I was looking for that Ffa Coffi Pawb release myself...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 13 September 2004 15:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Good old Placid Casual distribution never makes it easy do they? I looked around for it and couldn't find it so I ordered it off Anskt and it came in 2 days. However I did see loads of copies at HMV on Oxford St. Hope you find it, it's a fun album to listen to.

Molly McButter, Monday, 13 September 2004 15:36 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass...
they are probably one of my favourite bands but i'm kinda bored of the way they always end their shows with TMDGAF, how long have they been doing that for now? it's something like 6 years!?!?

SEARCH: EVERYTHING
DESTROY: TMDGAF Live single

Louie Strychnine, Thursday, 23 December 2004 16:15 (fifteen years ago) link

I really love them and at one point not too long ago had everything they'd ever released, including singles. They are excellent all round but a great track, probably my favourite of their's, that's not been mentioned is "Chupacabras". Insanely daft lyrics about a killer bat and then a chorus in what i think is Spanish which i don't understand. Very silly stuff but that's almost their forte.

Nick H (Nick H), Thursday, 23 December 2004 22:22 (fifteen years ago) link

It pains me that this is not a commonly held view

PaulTMA, Sunday, 2 February 2020 04:55 (three weeks ago) link

For a very long time I thought of Love Kraft as my fave SFA album. But a couple of years ago, my then 2y old daughter had a phase where she wanted to listen to Phantom Power all the time - I realised I had never given it proper attention & after repeated plays I got to think of that one as probably their best (although there's a couple of tracks on there which annoy me, the strongest tracks - especially the final two - more than make up for those).

I really like the Koolies song too.

Valentijn, Sunday, 2 February 2020 21:25 (three weeks ago) link

What makes Love Kraft stand out among the other albums? Genuinely curious. There are at least four tracks I really struggle with, but I do love a lot of it. I think the moments where they try to force that SFA “zany” pop sound really ruin whatever I think they were going for. Stuff like “Cabin Fever” is so musically and structurally impressive... the kind of song I play for people who never took SFA seriously.

afriendlypioneer, Sunday, 2 February 2020 22:42 (three weeks ago) link

i like the Koolies song ok but it's not interesting at all, if that makes sense.

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Sunday, 2 February 2020 23:11 (three weeks ago) link

It sort of sounds like all the things SFA are good at, but with none of that Gruff charm that’d send it over the edge perhaps?

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 3 February 2020 13:18 (three weeks ago) link

Probably the only person in the world who holds this opinion, but 2019's The Earth album is prob. the best SFA side/solo/whatever thing that's come out in the 10 years since they took their hiatus. Dionne's got an incredible voice, and Daf's stoned, lazy backing Vox sound amazing paired with her singing. This is so outside the boundaries of what SFA fans want to listen to that I'm not surprised these albums haven't taken off (or maybe I have really bad taste).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7woDyNwATI

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 3 February 2020 15:14 (three weeks ago) link

If we count the Baby Queens album, that gets my vote.

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Monday, 3 February 2020 15:32 (three weeks ago) link

Oh, that's a really good one as well. I thought it had potential to break out past the SFA/Wales market, but it didn't appear to go anywhere.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 3 February 2020 16:24 (three weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H74B_wkmHKk

this is so good

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 3 February 2020 16:39 (three weeks ago) link

stoked to check out The Earth thingy

It sort of sounds like all the things SFA are good at, but with none of that Gruff charm that’d send it over the edge perhaps?

ha this is exactly along the lines of my initial post thoughts, which were "this is good, but it does not _delight_ me like good SFA," but it sounded revoltingly precious. i could not word it properly.

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Monday, 3 February 2020 21:09 (three weeks ago) link

*watches Naughty Naughty*

nah that's almost exactly inside what this SFA fan wants, THANKS

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Monday, 3 February 2020 21:14 (three weeks ago) link

gotta say, i didn't know distribution in the web age could be this hard. i wanna wanna wanna buy that shit direct, it on apple music if you ask right, not on bandcamp, they say they're in amazon (they're not by my looks) and the weblink off the only shit i could find (on FACEBOOK!) is dead.

the shit off apple music is good imo. if anyone has the right place to send dough for songs tho

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Monday, 3 February 2020 22:16 (three weeks ago) link

Finally got a dl. I have no idea who this is really for, other than me. I love the fuck out of it right off the bat. "You Must Be Mistaken" could be a mid SFA song.

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Monday, 3 February 2020 23:45 (three weeks ago) link

Awesome. Glad you are enjoying it. I think Bunf might make an appearance on “Cyanide Sighs.” Don’t have the credits but I think I hear his voice near the end.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 01:38 (three weeks ago) link

Can’t Have It All is exactly the weird delightful shit i think about that came from SFA. In some ways it is the trippiest retropsych that i’ve heard because there are all manners of proper styles colliding in non-standard ways, and the lyrical icing smoothed onto it is both beautiful and incredibly arch.

*sighs* this is the fuckin best.

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 09:33 (three weeks ago) link

This one's got a really good hook:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG6Nj5Orl1w

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 17:09 (three weeks ago) link

lol aggressive!

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 17:29 (three weeks ago) link

So many pop intersections topped with belting brutal funny lyrics. It’s like Shirley Bassey singing Rings Around the World with a good feeling for hitting the punch lines.

so i’ll shut up now.

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 20:02 (three weeks ago) link

And at both LA shows, the performances were good but not enthusiastic, the recreations of the songs so straightforward to the point that I could have just put the DVD on and watched that most of the time -- and with the muddy sound at the El Rey in particular, details WERE lost, trust me. They just didn't seem all that thrilled to be there both times, nearly six months apart, and while I can easily ascribe that to being in LA, board semi-regular donut bitch in Seattle described similar vibes up there (and he's as much a fan as I).
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, October 30, 2002 5:41 PM (seventeen years ago)

Got off the bus right around this point. They were way better live in the late '90s before they started playing their entire set to a click track.

Deflatormouse, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 21:57 (three weeks ago) link

There were many shows I attended where they were pretty listless, but then they were still capable of moments like this well into their career:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW_qnfznUqA

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 5 February 2020 19:03 (three weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kV0bC1iChg

There's the B-side.

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 6 February 2020 21:44 (three weeks ago) link

Pretty damn far out!

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 6 February 2020 21:53 (three weeks ago) link

PPS i’m def still very ride or die on the earth, it’s the MOR-actually-NOT-MOR, tina-turner-is-updated-and-very-real album pair that i didn’t know i was waiting for.

the preceding album is the MOR album to those is so not as good, same production and playing level, but sorta bad.

lookin forward to das koolies b side...

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Thursday, 6 February 2020 22:02 (three weeks ago) link

B-side is v. Spacemen 3 once you get past the six minutes of opening drone.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 7 February 2020 16:02 (three weeks ago) link

"but then they were still capable of moments like this well into their career:"

That... sounds exactly like Epic period SFA playing Mountain People to a click track? That mellotron- ugh.
This performance makes me very grateful that Mountain ppl was on Radiator instead of Phantom Power.
Might as well watch the DVD = nail on the head.

Deflatormouse, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:28 (three weeks ago) link

don't mind me, as I've clearly never forgiven them for RATW, going all nerdy ("retropsych"), yada, yada.

Deflatormouse, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:33 (three weeks ago) link

The outro is fantastic IMO. I know it's derivative of the old outros, but it sounded huge in person.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:42 (three weeks ago) link

Funny thing is, back in the Creation days I often thought how they needed to get a producer like Mario C on board to make their records that little bit bolder and edgier.
And they went on to kraft their most edgeless records with none other than.

Deflatormouse, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:43 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, i liked the outro pretty well. Not as well as the ken nordine "orangely out of its head" one from 99, but pretty well.

Deflatormouse, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:44 (three weeks ago) link

idg what makes RATW less adventurous than the previous albums. sure it's a bit more polished but it's still completely all over the place surely

TOO LOW, the Curator (imago), Friday, 7 February 2020 21:00 (three weeks ago) link

i mean, if you can ignore 'it's not the end of the world' and 'presidential suite'

TOO LOW, the Curator (imago), Friday, 7 February 2020 21:00 (three weeks ago) link

I got into them when RAtW came out, so I can't really see where deflatormouse is coming from. I do agree they're a bit sterile live, however.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 7 February 2020 21:04 (three weeks ago) link

Also, maybe the songwriting on Hey Venus! and Dark Days/Light Years isn't up to par with the earlier albums, but it seemed like they were starting to move towards a less polished sound on those two albums.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 7 February 2020 21:09 (three weeks ago) link

"idg what makes RATW less adventurous than the previous albums."

I wrote a very long post in the 'ALL CAPS' SFA thread that touched on this. I think my primary complaint was "not as cool" as their previous albums (going soft) rather than "not as adventurous". But certainly also less adventurous in that on RATW they established a stylistic continuity from album-to-album for the first time and began to disengage from the musical conversation of the moment.

What they'd lost, in a word, was urgency.

I agree that their two Rough Trade albums took steps to address all this (I think quite deliberately), and I agree that they weren't up to snuff.

FWIW I wasn't that into Fuzzy Logic when it came out. I bought it and listened but wasn't all that taken with it until I went back and listened to it in late '97 with Radiator as my Rosetta Stone.

Deflatormouse, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:23 (three weeks ago) link

I really rather like DD/LY, if we ignore the existence of 'Mt.'

TOO LOW, the Curator (imago), Friday, 7 February 2020 22:25 (three weeks ago) link

I mean, they gave plenty of lethargic performances when they were touring behind Radiator and Guerrilla where they were too stoned to stand up. Literally, on at least one occasion. And that was pretty fucking cool, actually.
They were not always energetic and enthusiastic. But in everything they did, they confronted the "now".

Deflatormouse, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:39 (three weeks ago) link

ha i don't rate phantoms that highly, and hold post phantoms at meh, but ratw is a creativity highlight that is more than retropsych imo. its not just retro and its not just psych, tho i have a soft spot for both.

in a mellow, balmy way (Hunt3r), Friday, 7 February 2020 23:10 (three weeks ago) link

Always thought 'psych' was a misnomer for SFA actually, as they've shown a lot more interest in soul textures and dance music production.

" ratw is a creativity highlight that is more than retropsych imo. its not just retro and its not just psych"

ok, why/why not??

I won't assume that "not just retro" = techno, but the techno breaks feel gratuitous and tacked on to me this time around and don't transcend the novelty emelent IMO, where on the previous two releases there was a seamless structural and stylistic integration with electronic experiments forming the basis for several tracks on Guerilla.

Deflatormouse, Friday, 7 February 2020 23:23 (three weeks ago) link

so wtev has taken over the SFA ballot poll for me, this now looks like it will be coming up soon...

ILM Ballot Polls for 2020 and beyond -- the ordering, timing, "I would have voted if I'd known about it," etc

Bee OK, Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:05 (three weeks ago) link

The b-side reminded me of this gem. Bunf's kind of underrated, imo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcYSvCKYUTM

Bit of an odd voice. Maybe not a great voice. He seems to be the guy in the band who's just a little less polished & a bit more adventurous than the rest, and you can really hear it when he strikes out on his own.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 10 February 2020 19:14 (two weeks ago) link

Sort of fascinated by how different Gruff looks in this footage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbEnvo0fh08

PaulTMA, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:32 (two weeks ago) link

He was rocking dreads a few years earlier:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdcHQ9HHu8U

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 13 February 2020 14:43 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viFmKsBxSbc

I'm kind of digging this stuff right now. Never gave it much time.

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 13 February 2020 14:49 (two weeks ago) link

I saw SFA at a small (for them) club in Portland on the Hey Venus tour. 2008? 2009?

I was friends with the promoter, who knew that I was a huge fan, and as a result I found myself in their dressing room after the show.

This was notable for a few reasons:

First of all, they had a full DJ setup going... like, two turntables, PA, crates of records, and the band members were just taking turns spinning jams for themselves and their friends on this comically overpowered system in a dressing room slightly larger than a typical US hotel room.

And... there were bowls of weed *everywhere*. Not bowls as in pipes, or cereal bowls... but, like, the big metal mixing bowls you find in a restaurant kitchen, just *filled* with weed, like a half dozen of them. I've honestly never seen more marijuana anywhere on earth.

I ended up getting what was almost certainly the most stoned I've ever been in my entire life as SFA joyously spun records for hours, geeking out with them on their albums, laughing hysterically. It was the best time ever. SFA OK.

Davey D, Thursday, 13 February 2020 21:19 (two weeks ago) link

That's a great story. Their legendary weed consumption comes up in this documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKT67LyDKvU

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 14 February 2020 14:57 (two weeks ago) link

There's a small feature in the new Uncut. Cian basically says Das Koolies is the new band as far as he is concerned and not a side project. They have no plans to record a new SFA album and Das Koolies is their main focus. They apparently have enough material for three albums, of course they always say that kind of shit. Anyway, I guess you could read into the "new band" thing in a couple ways.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 17 February 2020 15:24 (one week ago) link

"It's not a side project, it's not a gap-filler, it's not something we're doing because we're waiting to do Super Furries things again. This is what we do now, basically."

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 17 February 2020 15:34 (one week ago) link

Very much up for this album despite not caring for the single

PaulTMA, Monday, 17 February 2020 16:40 (one week ago) link

How'd you like the B-side--if you've heard it?

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 17 February 2020 16:45 (one week ago) link

Er, not blown away either but it's early days

PaulTMA, Monday, 17 February 2020 17:01 (one week ago) link


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