Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years (2009)

Posted By: Designol
Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years (2009)

Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 407 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 152 Mb | Scans included | 01:00:24
Alternative Rock, Experimental, Neo-Psychedelia | Label: Rough Trade | # RTRADCD546

The Welsh psychedelic pop/rock legends Super Furry Animals return with 'Dark Days/Light Years', their ninth studio album. Where previous albums have seen the band experiment with extra instrumentation, this release is full of songs based on grooves rather than ensemble composition. The band's impish sense of humour remains, though, with track titles such as 'The Very Best Of Neil Diamond' and 'Moped Eyes' standing out. Also notable is Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy's guest appearance on the Kraftwerk-inspired 'Inaugural Trams', performing a German-language rap. In keeping with more recent albums, the band also share lead vocal duties between several members.

Longtime Super Furry Animals album artist Pete Fowler collaborated with Keiichi Tanaami, the designer responsible for their 2007 album Hey Venus!, for the cover art for SFA's ninth album, Dark Days/Light Years, and it's a fitting gesture for an album that connects the focused, revitalized band of the late 2000s with the renegades of the late '90s. A cursory listen reveals Dark Days to be considerably wilder than Hey Venus!, whose primary charm was its streamlined efficiency, showcasing the band at its tight, melodic best. Elements of this remain – it's hard to strip the Day-Glo pop out of SFA, and they do not deny themselves, or us, this candied pleasure – but the opener, "Crazy Naked Ladies," makes it plain that this is a buoyant, electrified, psychedelic affair, as much about texture as it is about sound. In that sense, it has a kindred spirit in Guerrilla, the third album that found SFA getting elastically electronic instead of precisely pop, but if anything, the group's two sides are integrated seamlessly here with the band shifting gears almost imperceptibly, transitioning smoothly from fuzz-flaked guitars to pulsating electro beats. This liquid ease distinguishes Dark Days/Light Years as latter-day SFA, as does their continued reliance on showcasing each of their main singer/songwriters, giving this a bit of a democratic heft, but SFA avoid any of the respectable middlebrow bloat that taints the worthy Rings Around the World period. Dark Days is vibrant and alive, an ever-flowing, ever-shifting, carousel of sound – some might miss the emphasis on song, but it's a ride that's hard to resist.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine,

Once you've communicated what you want to say so many ways, there's always the groove. Not that Super Furry Animals were the ones who needed to get theirs back, exactly. I mean, sure, 2007's Hey Venus! wasn't so much "speaker blowing"– lead singer Gruff Rhys' advertisement– as "hey, SFA still don't suck yet." But before that, 2005's Love Kraft was a multi-layered psych-funk-folk-samba epic about love, war, and "no more romantic comedies." Since then, the Welsh quintet's offbeat side projects– such as Rhys's Delorean-themed Neon Neon partnership with Boom Bip, or keyboardist Cian Ciárán's electronic-leaning Acid Casuals– have kept the Super Furry faithful well-supplied.

Dark days? Uhh, have you picked up a newspaper lately? Me neither, which I assume is part of the problem. "People that go out and murder people don't read The Wall Street Journal," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN's Wolf Blitzer the other day, on whether the shitty economy added to gun violence. And yet all of a sudden a lot of liberal-arts-damaged hipsters seem to know a hell of a lot about the financial sector. Call it a capital infusion: SFA's ninth album in almost two decades as a band, Dark Days/Light Years, is also their most playful since 2001's Rings Around the World. Full of paradoxes and loving parodies, honeyed psych-pop harmonies and shaggy vamps, it's just the sci-fi groove-rock mindfuck to shake us out of our no-fun times.

First, the grooves: SFA assembled Dark Days/Light Years– nine years in the making, 40 days in the recording– largely out of riffs and ideas that for one reason or another had gone unused. The results are as free-wheeling and inspired as the group has sounded in years– Super-er and Furrier. Heavy blooz schoolgirl-ballers from Grand Funk Railroad to Eric Burdon can keep their puds and their guts squeezed tight into their bellbottoms after opener "Crazy Naked Girls", a three-part song that reclaims wah wah and a whole lotta lovin'. Groove turns to stomp on Ciárán-fronted "Mt.", which places Donovan folk mysticism over glam-rock schaffel.

Then, when the machines groove, it's motorik. The Super Furries meet the ensuing depression with… more wryness. "Let us make the best of a difficult situation," Rhys intones on first single "Inaugural Trams", the album's top stand-alone track. In a utopian universe where it would've been politically feasible for President Obama to announce, upon his inauguration, a plan to reduce emissions ("by 75!") and restore the economy through a public-transportation moon race, "Inaugural Trams"– with Franz Ferdinand's Nick McCarthy rapping some of the only German words I know that aren't "Kraftwerk" or "hefeweizen"– would be the summer jam. If "Inaugural Trams" is "the definitive krautrock song about railcars," as New York magazine's Vulture blog wondered recently, it's only in the way Rings Around the World's "Juxtaposed With U" was the definitive Philly soul sexx jam. In other words, it's something else.

And it's not alone. Lester Bangs once recommended a young punk band call their album The Monkees' Greatest Hits; the biggest disappointment here is that the Super Furries didn't make "The Very Best of Neil Diamond" the title track. The song's ancient licks and sweaty percussion might suggest early 00s R&B, or some kind of Eastern thing, but far from it: The chorus of "trust but verify" swipes a favorite Cold War catchphrase of Ronald Reagan. Somewhere before the guitar-gnashing bridge, I guess there's also this narrative about a Neil Diamond tape playing in the aftermath of an apocalypse. (And I'm told you can hear quotes from Vivaldi and Beethoven in Metal Machine Music, too…) Right after "The Very Best of Neil Diamond" takes us to "Sweet Caroline" and back, "Helium Hearts" drops us off in Eden. With perfect hippie-dippie non sequiturs about wedding rings, togetherness, and vegemite, it's probably the closest SFA's latest comes to the swooning, ELO-lite psych-pop of past highlights like 1996's "Something 4 the Weekend".

Just because a band sticks to the old-fashioned idea of an album as a cohesive piece of work doesn't mean it has to get all stuffy about it: Dark Days/Light Years begins with casual chatter and ends, after the "Beat It" meets "Livin' on a Prayer" bass lines and burbling vocal nonsense of Ciárán-penned quasi-instrumental "Pric", with three minutes of droning electronic tones. (SFA have played this kind of prank before, burying career highlights on hidden tracks or non-album singles.) Guitarist Huw Bunford's "White Socks/Flip Flops" makes up in wet synths, blistering guitars, and taut rhythms what it lacks in fashion sense; fuzzed bass-guitar duel "Inconvenience"– not an Au Pairs cover– goes from "what the fuck?" to jihad and pirate ships (timely!). Even the least exceptional tracks here, twinned songs "Where Do You Wanna Go?" and "Lliwiau Llachar", still offer raucous drumming and catchy Welsh-language vocals.

Remember when columnists predicted the death of irony after 9/11? Didn't happen, but between the whole everybody-losing-their-jobs thing and having an actual well-meaning grown-up in the White House, deadly seriousness is more of a threat now than ever. At least there's Glenn Beck. In the meantime, Dark Days/Light Years brings some good vibes for everyone "from middle-aged sophisticates to stone-aged reprobates," to borrow a line from the rhythmically restrained, Spoon-like "Moped Eyes". It used to be called "Hot Nuts".

Review by Marc Hogan,

Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years (2009)


01. Crazy Naked Girls (06:15)
02. Mt (04:25)
03. Moped Eyes (04:12)
04. Inaugural Trams (05:19)
05. Inconvenience (03:42)
06. Cardiff In The Sun (08:16)
07. The Very Best Of Neil Diamond (04:14)
08. Helium Hearts (02:50)
09. White Socks/Flip Flops (05:09)
10. Where Do You Wanna Go? (02:28)
11. Lliwiau Llachar (03:12)
12. Pric (09:52)

Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 4 from 23. January 2008

EAC extraction logfile from 19. June 2009, 14:05

Super Furry Animals / Dark Days\Light Years

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TOC of the extracted CD

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Test CRC DD27853D
Copy CRC DD27853D
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End of status report

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2013-11-01 21:19:36

Analyzed: Super Furry Animals / Dark Days\Light Years

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR5 0.00 dB -8.20 dB 6:16 01-Crazy Naked Girls
DR6 0.00 dB -8.31 dB 4:25 02-Mt
DR7 0.00 dB -9.04 dB 4:13 03-Moped Eyes
DR8 0.00 dB -8.93 dB 5:20 04-Inaugural Trams
DR6 0.00 dB -7.90 dB 3:43 05-Inconvenience
DR6 -0.02 dB -9.51 dB 8:16 06-Cardiff In The Sun
DR7 0.00 dB -8.55 dB 4:14 07-The Very Best Of Neil Diamond
DR5 0.00 dB -7.46 dB 2:50 08-Helium Hearts
DR6 0.00 dB -7.56 dB 5:10 09-White Socks\Flip Flops
DR7 0.00 dB -8.21 dB 2:28 10-Where Do You Wanna Go?
DR6 0.00 dB -7.13 dB 3:13 11-Lliwiau Llachar
DR6 0.00 dB -10.33 dB 9:53 12-Pric

Number of tracks: 12
Official DR value: DR6

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 914 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years (2009)

Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years (2009)

All thanks to original releaser - were-wolf

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