- 29 Nov 19
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
Back in 1999 the greatest band ever to come out of Wales, with apologies to Manic Street Preachers and, uh, Gene Loves Jezebel, decided to make an immediate pop album after their more psychedelic first couple of offerings, Radiator and Fuzzy Logic. Producing themselves, they set out to create what singer Gruff Rhys has called a more “jukebox sort of album.”
Rereleased to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, Guerrilla hits exactly as the band intended, an album bursting with potential pop hits, a record with ideas falling out of its pockets. 2004’S Songbook: The Singles, Vol. 1 is positively one of the greatest ‘greatest hits’ you’ll find anywhere that doesn’t have the words ‘ABBA’ or ‘Beatles’ on the front of it. It took three songs from this album, the clatter and burble of ‘Do Or Die’, the sun holiday horn blast of ‘Northern Lites’, and the gentle, rolling sing-along ‘Fire In My Heart’ - each one made the charts a briefly better place, and the rest of this album could have easily followed them. The big melody of ‘The Turning Tide’, the glam punk of the galloping ‘Night Vision’ which falls down a lift halfway through, the riff that drives ‘The Teacher’, the stomp of ‘Keep The Cosmic Trigger Happy’, even the prescient ‘Wherever I Lay My Phone (That’s My Home) – here is a freewheeling album crammed with invention and that’s not to mention the segues and hidden tracks (remember those?).
Added to all that, we get those brilliant B-sides like the rockin’ ‘Rabid Dog’, the spacey ‘The Matter Of Time’ and the toe-tapping ‘Colorblind’ - all good enough to have been included on the original album, meaning they’re very good indeed. There are also some interesting expository demos and rough mixes, but it’s the incendiary material on disc one that marks this out as one of the best albums of the nineties.