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  1.  Set me on fire!


    2008 is definitely the year of indie electro. With the success of the Klaxons last year bringing dance/rock fusion firmly into the public conciousness there's been a stream of crossover bands riding their sparkly, multi-coloured coat-tails. If there's any justice in the world then Friendly Fires will one day be hailed as heroes of this burgeoning scene.
    There's a diverse range of influences here: house, trance, soul, funk, all stirred up and spread on a good slice of solid beats, topped of with angular guitar riffs and Ed Macfarlane's dreamy vocals.
    Friendly Fires have take a bold decision to leave their heavy post-hardcore origins behind and it is something we should all be very grateful for. They have crafted themselves a fantastic new sound somewhere between the City Rockers label's brand of futurist house and the Music's beat driven math-rock. Anyone who's a fan of Hot Chip, Neon Neon, MGMT or Foals will love this record.

  2.  Super but not so Furry


    The Delorian DCM12 was de rigueur for the 1980's time traveller and it seems that Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys is trying to hark back to the heady days of 80's electro, especially on the dark and mornful 'I Lust U' and the fantastic lead track 'Told Her On Alderan'. He dabbles in house with 'Belfast' and 'Raquel', the later being thumpingly progressive and unashamedly retro.
    Forays into hip hop and classic indie are less successful but it is the effortless precision of the electro tracks the earned the justly deseved Mercury nomination. 'Michael Duglas' stands out as a great example of this, it's a moody, atmospheric commentary on Capitalist/Consumerist culture.
    Anyone who buys this expecting another Super Furries album will not get what they want but for anyone who, like me, grew tired of that over-ploughed furrow around the second or third record will find a real gem of a record. There's a great depth of sounds and influences and enough variety to keep you coming back again and again. What is more, Gruff has finally achieved something that the Super Furries never could as a band: the single-minded, uncompromising adherence to the concept behind the concept album, the enigmatic DCM12. Freed from the constraints of the underachieving five piece Neon Neon soars where the Super Furries flap and fluster to get themselves airbourn.