...the universe is still constantly vibrating to their tune...
[a]Primal Scream[/a] may have dropped vowels, but [a]Super Furry Animals[/a] have gone a step further and dropped English. Whereas the Primals‘ terrorist spelling is more a graphic design affliction than real statement, the Furries‘ decision to record an album in a language only spoken by about a million people in the world might seem perverse. But hang on. This is the star-sailing Super Furry Animals, a band who aren’t going to let language barriers get in the way of the more important business: using guitars and trumpets to reduce audiences to pools of bubbling psychedelic ectoplasm.
SFA don’t so much come onstage as teleport in. Molecules rearranged, they proceed to unravel ours with ‘Nightvision’ and ‘Drygioni’. Tonight, they’re a band walking with legends. At the end of ‘Do Or Die’, when someone throws a Brian Jones T-shirt onto the stage, Gruff holds it up and claims they’re going to conjure up the ghost of the drowned Rolling Stone. But elsewhere, in the tracks from their new Welsh-language album ‘Mwng’, you can hear the spirits of Arthur Lee, The Beach Boys and even, er, ELO wandering on and off.
The bleeping telecommunication psychedelia of ‘Guerrilla’ has been left far behind. SFA‘s new songs are the sound of cold, clear water and impossibly green grass. You might not understand the words, but it’s all in the beautiful international language of dreaming. So the gently playful ‘Ymaelodi A’r Ymylon’ – featuring a harmonium – proves that still waters can run deceptively deep; it’s apparently about old Welsh legends of demons in music. The happily woozy ‘Ysbeidiau Heulog’ is pure sci-fi Roxy Music and ‘Nythod Cacwn’ renders nature to a new amplified degree of colour and contrast, whilst ‘Gwreiddiau Dwfn’‘s jazz jam replaces ‘The Man Don’t Give A Fuck’ as a vertigo-inducing finale.
To label the Super Furries parochial would be to miss the point: it’s a love thing for them. Love of music, but also a love of mischief. They remain maverick pranksters in hi-tech fibre cagoules, sometimes on the cusp of falling apart or finally being sucked into the black hole they’ve been dancing around all night. Despite their occasional efforts to the contrary, the universe is still constantly vibrating to their tune.