Who? Super Furry Animals
Title: Dark Days/ Light Years
Label: Rough Trade
Tell me more: Since 1996, the Furries have been producing a series of exceptional, pyschedelic indie albums that have continually broken new ground. This is their ninth studio album.
Why the fek should I listen to this? Firstly, it has a song about trams and another entitled The Greatest Hits of Neil Diamond. I’ve seen them six times and crowdsurfed to them twice, which in Porky’s eyes is the ultimate in good gigs. SFA have tailed off a little with some previous albums, but there is little to fault this and it’s been on the stereo for the past week.
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? It might contain truly mesmerising artwork that enduces hallucinations just by looking at at for more than 20 seconds, but the packaging is just shoddy and the disk keeps falling out from the slot.
Trivia: They once went to a festival with their own tank.
Who: The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band
Label: Monkey records
Tell me more: Eastern European gypsy music, played by an outfit fronted by Benka Boradovsky, whose real name is the far more mundane Ben Cragg and who hail from the capital of Ruritania: Auckland.
Why the fek should I listen to this? Crazed cossack dancing, wedding plate-smashing kind of thing. Is that really a cover of the Dead Kennedy’s Too Drunk To Fuck? Dance music to laugh at – quite an achievement really.
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? Nah, just fucking great.
Trivia: Three of the tracks were recorded for Radio New Zealand, which for the uniniated, is a radio station … in New Zealand.
Who? The Puddle
Title: The Shakespeare Monkey
Label: Fishrider records
Tell me more: The Puddle formed in 1984 and were on the revered Dunedin label Flying Nun, which had, at the time, too many fantastic bands for such a small area as Otago.
Why the fek should I listen to this? They bear comparison to legendary New Zealand band the Chills (a Nun act too) with their beautifully languid pop sound that is not too far from the melodic heaven of The Byrds. The Shakespeare Monkey is their second album in a year after a decade away and has impressed Porky with its captivating tone and heartfelt lyrics, one of which, One Romantic Gesture namechecks poets Keats and (Thomas) Chatterton.
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? George D. Henderson’s voice is infuriatingly frail. And at 17 songs, 62 minutes, some quality control was needed.
Title: The Feeding of the 5000
Tell me more: Anarchist shouty-shouty punk yob chant noise. Uncomprising ‘we never sell out’ anti-capitalist, anti-Thatcher, anti-female shaving, anti-bloody everything virtually. Feeding of the 5000 is from 1978, after the punk movement shot its bolt. Crass paved the way for 80s second-wave punk bands like Discharge and Conflict.
Why the fek should I listen to this? Crass are what punk is about. It’s not about playing fast like cartoon punks Green Day. Middle-class Crass may have been, and therefore, had less to lose, but they stuck the knife in on tracks like Do They Owe Us a Living and the anti-religious Asylum, (“Jesus died for his own sins, not mine”).
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? Some people regard it as sacrilege to bash the Clash – but Crass accuse them of selling out by signing to CBS. At times, Crass’ were over-the-top in their criticism of society and capitalism but were guilty of failing to back it up with solutions and alternatives, other than the vague notion of anarchist revolution.
Trivia: Pressing plant workers refused to handle the record due to the content of Asylum. It was eventually released with the track removed and replaced by two minutes of silence. The re-release in 1980 (on Crass records, the original was on Small Wonder), included Asylum.