Hey Venus!

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These are some creative sum-bitches! If you haven't hopped on the Super Furry Animal spacecraft yet, you better get to it! The last Super Furry Animals experience, Love Kraft, was a ship adrift on the slower waves of psychedelic rock. It was beautiful but it also toned down the special effects the band displayed on the gloriously experimental Guerilla and Rings around the World. That Hey Venus! has out-of-this-world cover art, and an exclamation mark in the title should not be taken lightly.

Here, they've found an island to land on (set up the tikis!) and are throwing a dreamy party. They once again show off their interstellar genre-jumping ways, turning a pop structure on its head and often transforming it into mammoth, surround sound rock featuring no shortage of phaser-gun blasts and computer beeps. The center of the album is anchored by the stompers "Neo Consumer," "Into the Night" and "Baby Ate My Eightball" — all the type of plugged-in, maniacal send-ups we've come to expect from this band.

"Into the Night," meanwhile, shows SFA at its most classic rock-like, churning falsetto-driven choruses with buzzing guitars. "Run Away," a catchy tapper about getting away from all the tears, comes on like a Phil Spector, girl-group gem. And "Suckers" is a beautiful tale of a modern man who can rise above the "suckers" who are seemingly everywhere. This is Bowie when he was Ziggy. This is the Beatles in altered states. This is another triumphant trip into Super Furry hyperspace.

Brian Hoekstra writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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