Finally it has arrived and all is possibly well once again as Wales’ finest release their eighth studio album entitled Hey Venus! Since the last release Love Kraft, the SFA have parted company with Sony and signed a multi album deal with Rough Trade. Now comes the new album which word has is going to be speaker blowing and a return to a more rock based sound. This is the curious thing about the album, as it really doesn’t deliver on that score. The Furries themselves had talked up this album as being far harder than the previous ultra mellow Love Kraft, but on the whole Hey Venus! carries on when the last album left off.
As with all the Furries albums what we first get is the little intro track that leads into everything else and this time is no different. What comes after is somewhat of a halfway house between the last album and the sound we were promised by Gruff Rhys over the past few months. Tracks like the first single ‘Show Your Hand’ are low-fi rockers very much from the Love Kraft mould, but others such as ‘Battersea Oddyssey’ have a little more balls about them and deliver on the rock front. As usual the melodies and sounds are gorgeous at times coupled with the usual weird sound effects and quirky rumblings in the background. Standout moment come in the shape of ‘Neo Consumer’ and ‘Baby Ate My Eightball’ which fill the heart with that unique feeling of joy that can only be provided by the Super Furry Animals.
Perhaps this album should be viewed as somewhat of a bridge into what may come after, perhaps the speaker blowing sound we were promised. There can never be a poor SFA album, it just isn’t possible, but this as Love Kraft is on the whole mellow as a sunny day on a beach although unlike the Rio De Janeiro mixed Love Kraft, maybe a beach somewhere in Europe. What next from the SFA, who knows, but this album feels a little bit like filler for what may follow.