Gathan Beaga

Welsh Rock, lost and found

I was going to rant about how disappointed I am in the latest album of my favourite band, the Super Furry Animals. But no rants – I love these guys.

I have almost everything they’ve ever done (185 tracks on my iPhone at last count) so this was a hotly anticipated release. And so I bought it from the band’s website in a feverish rush this morning, as soon as it became available.

Unfortunately, my initial impression is that of a grab-bag of mostly sub-standard tracks that I will persist with in case they somehow grow on me. I get the feeling that Gruff Rhys might be conserving his songwriting efforts for his various, and brilliant, solo stuff (under his own name, and Neon Neon) and the songs sung by the other bandmembers just don’t do it for me. Sorry.

There are two good things to take from this though:

  1. the song that is probably the best on the album – a quirky love song for urban designers – is currently available free from their website. Recommended.
  2. the US$8 I paid for the album went to THEM, and not to any poxy record label, so that they can go on to make a better album. Plus I don’t have another CD to try and find space (alphabetised) in the drawer for.

So, what now? What other powerhouses of Welsh rock should I be listening to instead?

I’m taken with the idea of The Peth. They’d appear to be the psychedelic stoner band that the SFA aren’t quite – they share some members, and of course have the one and only Rhys Ifans on vocals (who used to sing for the SFA in the very early days). Calling your first single “Let’s Go Fucking Mental” is a bit of a pointer to a possible direction. Or not. There’s a thoughtful review by the Guardian, and after reading that I’ve downloaded the album while writing this blog posting. Tomorrow’s walking-to-work music sorted.

Punks Not DadAnd then there’s Punks Not Dad, a Cardiff punk band with the full on 1-2-3-4-GO! thing but singing of more contemporary concerns of the punk generation:

Nobody told me how it was gonna be
Working so hard to feed the family
Some days I feel like some kinda slave
Heating little jars up in the microwave
The Filth And The Puree

I came across them this evening on Boing Boing, and it’s been the best laugh for days. Recommended.

The kids don’t understand us – they think were full of shite
But WE ARE THE DADS – and the Dads are alright!
Visiting the in-laws, drifting to the right
But WE ARE THE DADS – and the Dads are alright!
We Are The Dads

Their album is out in May. I can’t wait.