Super Furry Animals | Dark Days / Light Years

Rough Trade (2009)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  March 30, 2009
4.0 4.0 Stars

What better way to say hwyl! to this ponderous decade than with a hulking slab of psych jams from one of its most consistent and chameleonic bands? For their ninth studio album, the Welsh quintet go heavy on vamps, riffs, and refrains; the result is their most spontaneous and blissfully lax effort since 2000's Mwng.

With most band members contributing heavily on lead and backing vocals, Dark Days/Light Years just might be SFA's most inclusive release ever. The songs, which evolved out of improvisations over the past few years, dig into glam, krautrock, and Funkadelicky grooves. Some, like the Sabbath-esque "Crazy Naked Girls," are transcendentally dumb; others, like the eight-minute "Cardiff in the Sun," are mushroom-clouding brain food.

There's room inside all this stoned discipline for a German rap ("Inaugural Trams"), a miniature pop nugget ("Helium Hearts"), and an Indian-flavored digression that juxtaposes falling bombs with "Sweet Caroline" ("The Very Best of Neil Diamond"). For anyone who's found the band's previous few records too "safe," Dark Days/Light Years is a welcome and irreverent treat, a sustained platter of tightly wound crazy to be savored throughout the rest of this year, and into the infinite.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Neil Diamond, Super Furry Animals, Super Furry Animals,  More more >
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