Super Furry Animals

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At least they aren't broken up. Cian's first tune was on Guerrilla...

i-i (teflon monkey), Friday, 24 February 2012 02:29 (five years ago) Permalink

I take it no one likes this band anymore. Must be why they've been on extended break.

afriendlypioneer, Friday, 24 February 2012 16:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Woah-oh woah bowl me over

i-i (teflon monkey), Saturday, 25 February 2012 01:08 (five years ago) Permalink

Dark Days was my favourite SFA album since Guerilla. Easy.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Saturday, 25 February 2012 07:03 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah Dark Days was great. Probably my second favorite at this point, right after Rings Around The World.

I want these guys to continue making music as a group.

silverfish, Saturday, 25 February 2012 14:03 (five years ago) Permalink

I loved it too. It actually got me excited for their future, which makes this unfortunate hiatus all the more disappointing. I felt they regained a vitality they were losing by relying too heavily on ornate orchestration and prog rock cliches.

afriendlypioneer, Saturday, 25 February 2012 16:55 (five years ago) Permalink

A couple of very good moments in 'The Very Best Of Neil Diamond' and 'White Socks/Flip Flops', and possibly even 'Pric' at a push, but ultimately a collection of extremely under-written songs with lyrics that sound as if they were written in a cigarette break, and none of the production depth of their earlier work, which means it wears thin very quickly on repeated listens.

I suppose it is mildly enjoyable in places, but compared to what this band used to be capable of it's just simply not good enough.

Turrican, Saturday, 25 February 2012 17:15 (five years ago) Permalink

I like the entire catalog, as it squares up with most of what I love about music. Guerrilla still my favorite but that's because I think it one of the ten best albums of its decade.

Display Name (this cannot be changed):, Saturday, 25 February 2012 19:55 (five years ago) Permalink

That's how I feel, man. I feel in love with them because I find their music extremely rewarding as far as replayability is concerned. There is so much going on under the surface--controlled chaos, so to speak. Now that they're older they're beginning to get rid of their more stoned and drugged-out sensibilities, but I'm enjoying their transition into skilled, controlled musicians that know how to utilize texture in their songs and seem to actually know how to play their instruments.

afriendlypioneer, Saturday, 25 February 2012 20:09 (five years ago) Permalink

All that out of that way, it's hard to say they've ever topped their most innocent days.

afriendlypioneer, Sunday, 26 February 2012 01:29 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

First single from Cian's new album:

Very Love Kraft-ian...

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 30 April 2012 22:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Cian's vocal melody at first pretty much immediately reminded me of The Peth's 'Stonefinger', and the backing with the spare drumming and spare piano chords reminded me a lot of John Lennon's 'Mother'. The chorus is very reminiscent of George Harrison's mid '70s solo work (I'm thinking something off maybe 'Living In The Material World' or 'Extra Texture'), although it does seem to have the usual subtle flavours of ELO/The Beach Boys in there. I can understand the vibe that he's going for.

Ultimately though, I found this track crushingly dull and very unexciting. It seems to just plod and plod, and the chorus doesn't really give it enough of a lift out of that rut. It's also quite unconvincing; it's clear it's designed and deliberately crafted to be this 'beautiful' piece of music, but I honestly didn't feel anything listening to that. It was kind of just 'there'.

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Monday, 30 April 2012 23:46 (five years ago) Permalink

I like it. The bg vocals are interesting, the production is dense, the lyrics are cheesy in a great, bombastic way and the drumming is good as always. What can I say, I'm a fan boy. Hope I find out those are some Sean O'Hagan strings layered under there so I can live up to my name.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 13:16 (five years ago) Permalink

Meh. I wish I could say that there was something interesting about it, but I can't. The background vocals just sounded like the kind of standard, business-as-usual background vocals one would expect from a member of Super Furry Animals; well put together, yes, but all members of that band can do this kind of thing in the sort of state of sleep that this track is threatening to put me in. It doesn't sound like there's anything incredibly flash going on in the drumming department, either. Granted, the song doesn't call for anything but a basic 'Imagine'-esque backbeat, so in that sense the drumming works. However, it's not something that I would drag out and say 'Hey! listen to the drumming on this!'. These are minor complaints, though. The major complaint that I have with it is that it's not particularly very gripping: it meanders, it plods, there's very little in there that approaches a hook... and this is the first single!? It's probably fair to say that if the rest of the album is in the same vein as the tracks that have already been posted, then I'm really going to find this album a bit of a tedious, samey listen.

I did have to allow myself a little smile at that opening lyric, though: "Whatever happened to all the people who gave a fuck?", especially knowing that SFA's audience has been dwindling at a rapid rate since at least 2005. I suppose there'll always be a small portion of real hardcore fans (I loathe the term 'fanboys') that will passionately carry on devouring SFA's product both collectively and individually regardless of whether it measures up to the heights of their earlier work; and admittedly, there is nothing wrong with this at all and I'm not going to sit here and say that people are wrong for doing so. The band (and by extension, the solo careers of the people in the band) have become part of the identities of these fans, and I suppose there's a comfort in buying a record by your favourite artist(s) at a late stage in their career and knowing pretty much that what you're going to get is going to be something that is, at the very least, pleasing to the ear of a fan.

In my case, the music of both the band and the solo careers of those in the band just doesn't seem to have the same 'power' or 'hold' over me that it used to. I've pretty much exhausted all of the 'old' stuff through extensive listening over the years, and the very recent stuff just doesn't impress me to the level that their older work did. Also, at the same time, my listening tastes have been gradually shifting away from the type of music Super Furry Animals make both as a collective and individually. I genuinely find myself getting my kicks from other records by other bands that give me the same 'high' as Super Furry Animals used to, even if these other bands/other records don't sound anything like Super Furry Animals or their solo work. It happens. The group of people behind Super Furry Animals had a good 11-12 years of absolute devout fandom from me, which is a remarkably long time. There's a lot of bands that *don't* inspire absolute devout fandom from people for such a length of time. Even the biggest bands in the world have a revolving door of people that become hardcore fans who either gradually fall off or find their fandom cooling after a few years and move onto something else. Again, it happens. It's really as simple as that.

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:30 (five years ago) Permalink

That's pretty much exactly how I've felt about They Might Be Giants, and they won me over again. Maybe there's some hope for SFA. Then again, my most recent SFA album is Rings Around the World.

That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:34 (five years ago) Permalink

That's pretty much exactly how I've felt about They Might Be Giants, and they won me over again. Maybe there's some hope for SFA. Then again, my most recent SFA album is Rings Around the World.

― That's a pretty funky dance, Garfield. Show me how you do it. (frogbs), Tuesday, May 1, 2012 4:34 PM (45 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah, I mean these things happen too! There's a possibility that in the future they may release exactly the right record at the right time for me, or in many years to come I'll come back to one of their older records with a fresh ear and I'll be like "hey, fuckin' hell! this is exactly what I want to hear!", and they'll win me back over and I'll get enthusiastic about the band/their solo stuff all over again. It's difficult to say when this could happen, but if it did happen I can't imagine I'd complain about it. For the moment though, I've definitely hit a bit of a brick wall/got a bit tired/got a bit bored with it all and I'm definitely getting my musical 'kicks', as it were, elsewhere.

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Ha, I was thinking pretty much in these general terms myself, that they went from a band who meant a hell of a lot to me to a band that just lost me a bit. But yeah, maybe it'll come back, or maybe it's just me.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 16:53 (five years ago) Permalink

I kind of felt like I was getting bored with SFA for Lovecraft and Hey Venus, but they won me back with Dark Days/Light Years

I'm hoping they make another album at some point

silverfish, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:11 (five years ago) Permalink

So, about Cian's new song... what do the rest of y'all think?

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 17:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Guto's thing. Might be a bit more of a change for you, Turrican.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 19:47 (five years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Cian's album is fantastic. The lyrics are cheesy/heavy handed, but the songwriting is strong. I find the album more memorable than Gruff's last one, honestly. Strange.

poppa11, Thursday, 2 August 2012 16:50 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

...and so we're coming up to nearly the five year mark since Super Furry Animals last released an album, and it's been over ten years since their last album that I could say was universally acclaimed by critics and fans alike (Phantom Power). I personally think that it would be incredibly sad if Dark Days/Light Years turned out to be their swan song. Remember what happened to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci when they went on hiatus after Sleep/Holiday and then broke up three years later? I understand that they're busy with all of their solo projects (hardly any of which have actually done much for me), but a hiatus of this length is very unusual by this bands standards. The longer this goes on, the more I'm actually beginning to accept that we may have heard the last of this band.

Dog Man Star took a suck on a pill... (Turrican), Monday, 25 November 2013 21:10 (four years ago) Permalink

I really, really liked Dark Days/Light Years but, yeah, I hope it's not their last album.

JACK SQUAT about these Charlie Nobodies (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 25 November 2013 23:19 (four years ago) Permalink

If anything they were so prolific that they began to be taken for granted by critics and their probably their audience, so a hiatus is not a bad idea, for whatever reason

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 26 November 2013 13:36 (four years ago) Permalink

I don't mind DD/LY as their swan song. HV would have been an awful way to go out (weirdly, not least because of the awful cover art, but also because as good as it is it seemed like a retread somehow, while DD/LY brought the fun back a bit and added new kraut elements to their sound). I'd be overjoyed to hear of a new album, but I'd be OK if they called it quits, too; they had a wonderfully productive, long run. Bless them.

A sort of "Sister Ray" for the mentally handicapped (staggerlee), Tuesday, 26 November 2013 14:50 (four years ago) Permalink

Was humming this very song this morning

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:13 (four years ago) Permalink

Dark Days/Light Years would be a very good last album. Not quite as good as SFA at their peak, but I like it a lot more than the two albums that precede it.

silverfish, Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:20 (four years ago) Permalink

I love DD/LY, so I'm not too concerned about it being their last album. I don't think it will be their last, though. More than half the band is recording their own stuff out of the same studio, and Gruff has been preoccupied with releasing another film. I know that Gruff has emphasized the band aren't broken up and that a tenth album will come in due time.

I'm pretty much in agreement the solo/side stuff is nowhere near the same quality as SFA's releases, but it's still mostly nice enough and I believe I've listened to it all. Truthfully, I didn't enjoy Cian's new one as much as his first.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:38 (four years ago) Permalink

Book, album, film project. Probably set SFA back a couple years. I hope it's more worthwhile than the last subpar Neon Neon release.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:40 (four years ago) Permalink

afriendlypioneer, Thursday, 28 November 2013 17:49 (four years ago) Permalink

Man, I really don't like any of this year's SFA-related releases. Just had to dump Neon Neon and The Earth from iTunes...and I paid for both. Can't imagine listening to either one again. I'm reluctant to do the same to Cian's latest, but I don't rate that one too highly either. I don't know if I've gotten sick of SFA or if these side/solo projects just aren't very good. I definitely don't listen to SFA as much as I used to...

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 3 December 2013 16:14 (four years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Cian Ciaran selling his vinyl collection:

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 15:31 (four years ago) Permalink

Of library music/sounds, that is.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 15:34 (four years ago) Permalink

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