Review of Phantom Power Album by Super Furry Animals

Super Furry Animals, Phantom Power
Super Furry Animals, Phantom Power

Super Furry Animals

Phantom Power


The Super Furries are a whimsical band or a rock ‘n’ roll band depending on how the mood takes them. Some songs are sweet lilting ballads but always with a touch of eccentricity which is never far. Gruff Rhys’ voice is smoky and bluesy and their sound is fairly recognisable. After all, only a band like the Super Furries could write a track like Golden Retriever, a song about a dog. A garage rock track, Welsh style.

Music - Super Furry Animals, Phantom Power

First tract, Hello Sunshine, shows how varied the album can get from the first single (Golden Retriever). Instead of fast paced garage rock we get tranquil, quasi-country indie with some more classy lyrics. This is partially where the eccentricity comes from with lines like ‘I’m a minger and you’rea minger’. The most bizarre title has to be ‘Sex, War and Robots’ whichis completely contradictory to the sound. Sex, War and Robots has a laid-backapproach to life much like Hello Sunshine.

Almost the whole album has a touch of the sixties but Out of Control is one track that veers from the norm. It’s evocative of Blur’s Crazy Beat with shotgun lyrics over scattered guitars, it’s like a tune out of control itself. Other tracks ride the fine line between control and chaos, happy and said including Father Father #1 which can’t seem to make its mind up.

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to this album, as there are several different styles on this album. Different again are tracks like Valet Parkingwith strains of a cinema soundtrack style no a million miles away from that ofMercury Rev. It’s a wistful tune that meanders into your brain and staysthere for weeks on end. The Piccolo Snare too sounds like something from a 60’shorror movie with its intense, claustrophobic melody and vocals. Phantom Poweris a chilled backdrop to the hot, hazy summer days we’ve been having wherethe only thing you can do is kick off your shoes, sit back and relax. Go on,you know you want to.

Natasha Perry