Super Furry Animals - Rings Around The World
Some bands sell records and others inspire the next generation. "Rings Around The World" will change the way we buy music in the future and for me its a future we can do without. Maybe its just me but it seems like an awfully expensive marketing ploy which will essentially block out the indies and leave a generation of homogenized product. Another bow to the marketers racket and another excuse to plaster Pepsi Cola over Britney or N'Sync. Not that the Super Furries are part of that system but its sad that one of our bands have lit the match which will essentially cut off a host of labels like Fierce Panda or Fantastic Plastic.
As an album though the plain and simple truth is that "Rings...." isn't as good as "Juxtaposed" would initially suggests. Rumours suggested that the band wanted to bring in Brian Harvey or Bobby Brown as possible vocalists and at the risk of sounding presumptuous I'm sure our old friend Dane "ex of Jordan" Bowers would have done it for half the price. Elsewhere there's the string drenched "Presidential Suite", an ode to Bill Clintons spillage's in the White House and the title track which rips up a classic Quo riff. Gruff just seems to pluck these obscure lyrical subjects from nowhere and seems to make sense of it all which is strange when its countered by a lack of imagination on the instrumentation. Maybe its a bit more polished but there's nothing we haven't heard in "Demons" or "Fire In Your Heart" and in truth what made them stand out initially has now become nothing more than a trademark sound.
The DVD is a similar hit and miss affair which admittedly is down to the choice of directors than the band. You get the feeling that its all been a little rushed in order to meet the release date and you'll probably find over the next year that Bjork or Aphex Twin will release awe-inspiring generation changing products which just leave this behind as a bad mistake. As a live band the Super Furries can still cut it, but lets just hope they get back on track with the next album.