by A.J. Duric
Lovably demented psyche-rock geniuses, the Welsh band Super Furry Animals, grace the colonies with the long-awaited American release of the 1997 UK award-winning album Radiator, the follow-up to their debut album, Fuzzy Logic.
Infused with infectious melodies and irreverent rock n roll attitude, Radiator welds together punk rock, power pop, psychedelia, and the best of Beatles, Bowie, Beach Boys and Barrett elements. One of the major defining SFA factors is the driving vocals of Gruff Rhys, sometimes deep and laconic or hyper-spirited and vibrant.
Obviously fascinated with interesting instrumentation, electronic effects and lush vocal harmonies, SFAs efforts on Radiator crystallize their idea of twisted pop. "Hermann Loves Pauline," "Play It Cool" and "Chupacabras" reveal deeply buried sound experimentation that, compounded with the sometimes ridiculously high-pitched, gruff vocals of Rhys, will raise the hair on your neck. The other extreme is the almost lullaby-calming twinkle of "Download" and "Furryvision," or the surprisingly countryesque "Mountain People" which drags itself into a nearly tribal Plastikman rhythm that finishes with a barrage of Battlestar Galactica stun-gun beatsounds.
The Super Furries challenge you to toss out those uninspired Britpop imports of the last three years and bury yourself into their fuzzy sound logic, a logic that is expanding to include a decidedly different twist for their next album, due for release as soon as they come up with a title!