Sunday, 21 March 2010

Albums That Shaped My Life: Phantom Power, Super Fury Animals

I like dogs. They have wet noses and waggy tails. In fact I like a lot of animals. In many cases I like animals a lot more than humans. They’re less than complicated.

So it stands to reason that I should like a band called Super Fury Animals. Yet it took me an astoundingly long time to get into them. I was aware of them but they were slightly off my radar. In fact I just looked it up and it was nearly 10 years before I finally noticed them. That’s shocking, because they’re a great band. A really great band!

The song that finally locked me on to them was, maybe slightly unsurprisingly, Golden Retriever from the Phantom Power album (2003). It was fun, bouncy, bassy and made absolutely no sense (why on earth would you compare your girlfriend to a dog?). I loved it!

When I bought the rest of the album I was a bit shocked. Although there were tracks like Out of Control that had a real rock edge, the rest of the album was chilled out with delicate harmonies and dream like effects. Even Sex, War & Robots talks about ‘going to bed before midnight’. They sounded a bit wussy.

It took me several listens to get my head around it. I’m not sure what eventually made it click, maybe the brilliant line in Cityscape Skybaby (She came in smelling of cabbages/Winter roots and winter’s ravages) or maybe the off kilter electro beats of Slow Life that gave a small nod to their techno beginnings. Whatever it was I suddenly saw them for what they were - one of the most exciting, creative and fun bands of our time. A view that was only the more enforced seeing them live dressed as yeti’s driving around in a golf cart to the A-Team theme tune.

Phantom Power isn’t necessarily the best SFA album, but it was the one I bought first and I love it. Gruff Rhys has gone on to other projects, such as Neon Neon, laying on the genius in spoonfuls (and I’m talking tablespoons not teaspoons). He really is a musician who keeps on giving. Here’s to those lovely Welsh boys…may they continue to entertain us for many years more.

No comments:

Post a Comment