Super Furry Animals, Radiator

by Sarah Zupko

 

As a charter member of the fertile Welsh rock scene that includes the Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Catatonia, it’s a bit surprising that Super Furry Animals remain so unknown in the States. Radiator came out in the UK (and the rest of the world) back in 1997, but is only now seeing the light of day on this side of the pond. Say thanks to Flydaddy for getting these wickedly, wacky popsters a US release.

With deep bows to David Bowie and Brian Wilson and nods to almost everything in between, Super Furry Animals throw in everything but the kitchen sink in concocting their delicious brand of psych pop. “Demons” is a glam-drenched anthem driven by an eccentric orchestra of trumpets, banjos, synthesizers and power chords. Meanwhile, the power chords are back on “She’s Got Spies,” along with heavenly harmonies ala the Beach Boys and “Hermann Love’s Pauline” revels in a bit of Krautrock blended with Britpop (it has a cool post-techno opening too).

Radiator is a rare album—experimental pop that’s neither pretentious nor ponderous, deep and complex, growing on you with every listen—meaning that Super Furry Animals could well be the kings of the British annex of the Elephant 6. Grab this one soon too—early copies come with a limited edition bonus disc of B-sides and rarities (the British album Out Spaced).

Radiator

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