Sunday, November 15, 2009

Noughties By Nature #59: Super Furry Animals - Slow Life

This is not the only album closing, techno/rock epic of Super Furry Animals’ career. Come to think of it, it’s very much an older, subtler version of The Man Don’t Give A Fuck in tone. It’s the one that integrates the two to most astounding effect, though, and makes the most cutting use of very few words indeed.

It takes intriguing new turns at every stage, throwing everything from swishy strings to harmonica to thunking beats into the mix without ever jarring. In particular its eerie, cut up opening, fragments of sound echoing around, before melding into a selection of Cian Ciaran’s finest bleeps and back again, builds up momentum and anticipation so well that not only do SFA still use it to come on stage to, The Flaming Lips have done too.

With all that in the music the words don’t need to do much to set the scene, and there’s a numbing list of dominance ("Move you/Buy and sell you/ Terrorise you...") that briefly interjects before everything unites behind the immense, taunting, one line chorus. At first I thought it was "[it] rocks, our slow life", a continued satirical display of complacence which would fit with the distant massed "I simply need my slow life!" In fact it’s actually "rocks are slow life", a stern and taunting warning that vengeance will eventually come from the very Earth itself. There aren’t many bands that could pull that off.
Iain Forrester

[Album: Phantom Power]

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