What the paper doesn't show
What the TV doesn't say
Or what my hamster ate today"
Super Furry Animals are a Psychedelic Rock band that formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1993. Their music blends elements of rock, psychedelia, electronica, and just about everything else in between, often containing lyrics which toe the line between goofy and surreal to deeply profound and philosophical.
Aside from their distinct sound, the group also gained notoriety for their bizarre publicity stunts, such as travelling to festivals in a decomissioned tank (which they then sold off to Don Henley of The Eagles), getting a song that features the word 'fuck' being repeated 50 times into the top 40 (a record which they broke again a few years later), and recording a whole album of songs in their native Welsh. Their record sleeves, mostly designed by Cardiff-based artist Pete Fowler, are equally insane.
Rhys Ifans was the band's original vocalist, but left before the group signed a record deal to focus on his acting career.
- Gruff Rhys: Vocals, guitar, keyboards
- Dafudd Ieuan: Drums, vocals
- Guto Pryce: Bass
- Cian Ciaran: Keyboards, vocals
- Huw Bunford: Guitar, vocals
- Fuzzy Logic (1996)
- Radiator (1997)
- Guerrilla (1999)
- mwng (2000)
- Rings Around the World (2001)
- Phantom Power (2003)
- Love Kraft (2005)
- Hey Venus! (2007)
- Dark Days/Light Years (2009)
TROPES! Show Me Magic:
- The Band Minus the Face: In 2020, the band (apart from singer Gruff Rhys) started released music under the name Das Koolies.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The Phantom Power era introduced the now iconic "yeti" costumes (see above) worn by the band. The yeti characters were killed off at the end of the album tour, but made a comeback during their reunion shows in the 2010s.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: AND HOW!
- Cluster F-Bomb: The single "The Man Don't Give A Fuck" actually bore a sticker stating "WARNING: THIS SONG CONTAINS THE WORD ***! FIFTY TIMES". Although Gruff sings a few of them, most of the instances are a sample from Steely Dan.
- Design Student's Orgasm: Every single one of their record sleeves apply. Yes, even the much-derided Hey Venus! sleeve.
- Epic Rocking: The live version of "The Man Don't Give a Fuck" extends the original for up to 20-30 minutes.
- Genre Roulette: Guerrilla. The band structured the record as a jukebox, in which every song is completely different in style.
- Long Title: Their debut EP Llanfairpwllgwngyllgogerychwyndrobwllantysiliogogogochynygofod (In Space), named after a village in Wales.
- New Sound Album: Every album they make is a reaction to the last one:
- Radiator added elements of electronica to the punchy Power Pop sound of Fuzzy Logic, which were further explored on Guerrilla, their most eclectic record.
- mwng was a much simpler, folksier album, followed by the ambitious, Progressive Rock-leaning Rings Around the World.
- Phantom Power took stylistic inspiration from blues and country rock, whilst Love Kraft was in part a tribute to the early '70s era of The Beach Boys.
- Hey Venus! marked a return to their earlier power pop style (though not quite as energetic), whilst Dark Days/Light Years was much more psychedelic, looser and groove-driven.
- Something Completely Different: The band followed up the success of the breakneck-paced, Genre-Busting Guerrilla with... mwng, a modest, folksy collection of Welsh-language songs.
- Design-wise, the band enlisted Japanese surrealist Keiichi Taanami to design the artwork for Hey Venus! instead of Pete Fowler, which received a mixed reaction from fans and critics. However, much of the negativity towards Taanami's work died down when the two artists collaborated together on the sleeve for Dark Days/Light Years.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Love Kraft features other members of the group besides Rhys taking on lead vocals: Ieuan sings lead on "Atomik Lust", Bunford sings "The Horn" and Back on a Roll", Ciaran sings "Walk You Home", whilst Ieuan and Ciaran duet on "Cabin Fever".
- Bunford: "Sex, War and Robots", "Battersea Odyssey", "Crazy Naked Girls", "White Socks/Flip Flops".
- Ciaran: "Chewing Chewing Gum", "Carbon Dating", "These Bones", "Mt.", "Helium Hearts", "Pric".
- Ieuan: "Receptacle for the Respectable".
- Synthetic Vocalist: The verses to "Juxtapozed With U" are sung by Rhys through a vocoder.
- Team Pet: "Fuzzy Birds" is about Stavros, Bunf's pet hamster at the time.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Subverted; as most of their lyrics tend to make more sense in context.