Super Furry Animals - Hey Venus!
Here is a statement I am willing to stand by and I doubt will be proven wrong for many years to come: Super Furry Animals are overall the best Welsh band ever. Unlike the Manics, they've never told us they were better than they are, or gone rubbish. Unlike Gorky's or McLusky they've had staying power. Unlike the Stereophonics they've never been completely shit. Hey Venus! is their 8th album of original material in 14 years. Other than that they've released a hell of a lot of bsides (many of which appear on the wonderful Out-Spaced collection, which is actually my favourite of their releases overall), a remix record and various other fun items. None of which have ever been less than great.
So the new one. It's pretty short (35 minutes or so), but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in the bands very idiosyncratic ability to blend unendingly catchy melodies with unpredictable and always interesting songwriting. The best way to describe it might be as a more poppy version of 2005's Love Kraft; it's certainly influenced by some of the same artists/genres (a bit of 60s psychedelia, a dash of 70s prog), and yet the hooks flow a lot faster in a way that reminds me of their debut. If I can be so annoying as to refer to them being a British band as well as a Welsh one, then i'd like to re-affirm an opinion that deserves to be expressed much more often; that the SFA are a national/(united) kingdomal treasure.
Super Furry Animals - Show Your Hand
Super Furry Animals - Baby Ate My Eightball