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Super Furry Animals Guerrilla album cover
3.26 | 14 ratings | 5 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

0. Citizen's Band (4:52)*
1. Check it Out (1:26)
2. Do or Die (1:59)
3. The Turning Tide (2:49)
4. Northern Lites (3:29)
5. Night Vision (4:41)
6. Wherever I Lay My Phone (That's My Home) (5:24)
7. A Specific Ocean (0:51)
8. Some Things Come from Nothing (5:53)
9. The Door to this House Remains Open (4:16)
10. The Teacher (2:31)
11. Fire in My Heart (2:45)
12. The Sound of Life Today (0:21)
13. Chewing Chewing Gum (4:49)
14. Keep the Cosmic Trigger Happy (10:31)**

Total Time: 51:53

*Hidden pre-track
**The listed track ends at 4:25. After an extended silence, there is a hidden track "Chewing Chewing Gum (Reprise)".

Line-up / Musicians

- Gruff Rhys / vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, claps, Moog
- Dafydd Ieuan / drums, vocals, percussion, piano, claps
- Cian Ciaran / Rhodes, piano, electronics, vocals
- Guto Pryce / bass, Sub bass, claps
- Huw Bunford / electric guitar, vocals, claps

Releases information

CD Creation Records/SCR 494594 2

Thanks to frenchie for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
Edit this entry


SUPER FURRY ANIMALS Guerrilla ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS Guerrilla reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frenchie
4 stars Now this is where things start to get really weird! Super Furry Animals pushed their songwriting in order to make something different after the success of "Radiator". This album aim's to expand their sound even furthur, yet also drops some of the other things that made the first 2 albums great (although they will return on different albums!). "Guerrilla" still stands as their most experimental album yet and is truely amazing. Some of this stuff is almost as daring as Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart's work and is a very daring release for a band who are able to get into the pop charts with their singles.

After the irritating effects intro the album leads into the simple structured short single, "Do or Die" which is a pretty neat track, leaning more towards the debut album. "The Turning Tide" offers some great vocal work and is one of the bands best slow ballad like tracks. I wouldn't say that the band actually has a ballad as perhaps their music is too crazy for that.

"Northern Lites" add's to the craziness of this album by going into a carribean style sound! Somehow this managed to be a great single and is one of my all time favourite SFA tracks. "Night Vision" is a good rocker, it is evident by this time that the band members have gone mad as the music on this album is completely insane. I think the album get's even more perculiar from there. "Where I Lay My Phone" is definetly one of the weirdest tracks the band has ever written. It still sounds good, if yet a pointless thing to write about. It seems that SFA have sacrificed some of the touching songwriting that graced the last album, so to make up for it songs like "Something's Come from Nothing", "Fire in My Heart" and "The Turning Tide" have been placed on the album to keep a good balance going, and it works.

"A Specific Ocean" ~ Gloomy interlude or just filler? Either way not much to say about this track. There is another one later on called "The Sound of Life Today". Perhaps these odd titles are meant to inspire wider thinking but i guess it does add to the theme of insane songwriting and experimental madness that has been attatched to this album.

"Something's Come from Nothing" is a brilliant journey. They have really toned down the crazy here to make a really touching experimental piece, adding to the art rock of their music. The lyrics go for quite a minimalist approach by only have one line repeated over. This makes for quite an atmopsheric vocal range which is able to be expressed in different ways. This is definetly one of the standout tracks on the album, one that requires patience.

"The Door to This House Remains Open" is a rather creepy piece of music that sounds like it could be a graveyard anthem. This shows off more experimental work and it has an almost techno-ish rhythm to it. A strong use of computerised drum beats and bass flows in this song. Tracks with such experimentalism add to the variety on this album. "The Teacher" is a "God! Show Me Magic" style freak out! Some nice piano work and altogether rock jam.

"Fire in My Heart" is a touching single that only requires one Gruff singing and an acoustic guitar. This track remains a classic live piece and decent single. This shows off the heart of an altogether cold feeling album. This warms it up with its amazing simplicity and stereotypical love song lyrics that have been given their own SFA crazy twist. Probably the only love song ever written to have lyrics about monkey puzzle trees. I think the lyric "I'm driving myself mad" sums up "Guerrilla" perfectly. This is an album that sounds like someone who has been driven mad would write, and it can quite easily drive the listener mad.

"Guerrella" is probably the most difficult Super Furry Animals album to approach as it is very demanding. SFA succeed in pushing their sound even furthur, favouring experimental works. This album is less pop friendly which is probably a good thing as it allows more complex music to be written. This is kind of an approach with caution album but once you get into it, it really is one of the bands best albums.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars SFA released quite a weird third album.

There are some catchy songs available like the post punk "Do Or Die" or the melodic "The Turning Tide". Too many songs are on the short (less than three minutes) or very short (under the sixty seconds mark) to be really captivating.

The band investigates different musical genres and some "10CC" feeling are noticeable during "Northern Lites": not only in the rhythm but also the arrangements reflects this. Pleasant. A good start if you would skip the painful opening track.

As I have said for earlier releases, this albums sounds as if it was released in the late seventies. I think of "Night Vision" and its new wave orientation. This song though lacks in freshness and is quite dull and repetitive. And to be honest, I can hardly cope with "Wherever I Lay My Phone" even if the lyrics are quite irresistible (but less funny than the "Ramones" ones). I hope you get the idea?

To try and not fall asleep during "Some Things?" is a difficult exercise. I'm sure you will be able to do it to avoid almost six minutes of deep boredom. Several songs are borderline grotesque ("The Teacher") and reminds to some extent the fantasy of the Dutch band "Supersister".

The same sort of ultra minimalist lyrics are again overused in "Chewing Chewing Gum". At this time of the album, it is a bit "too much". Might be funny for a while, but their sense of humour culminates during the long "Keep the Cosmic Trigger Happy". It is long (over ten minutes) because there is almost an eight minutes blank. Great! After all, these might well be one of the best time from this offering.

I'm not thrilled by this "Guerrilla" stuff. Two stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This is SFA's 3rd full LP and it is quite the interesting conglomeration of styles and sounds with enough variety to make anyone happy at least for the duration of one track, but in most cases I think anyone would find themselves enjoying several tracks here. What the band was aiming for here was a pop oriented album. They wanted to explore many different styles and that is what happened. For me, this makes this album very enjoyable and fun, but most people might consider it a bit inconsistent because of the variety evident on the album. The one thread that holds most of the songs together on the album is that there is a strong reliance on electronic music and sounds and it is the first time the band had used a sampler (and they use it to add some original and interesting effects). The guitar is not relied upon as much on this album as it has been on other albums.

In the making of the album, the band planned on using the same producer as they had used previously, but he wanted the band to put off the album for a while so that he could rest up from being so busy producing other band's albums. SFA was way too eager to wait, so they ended up producing this album on their own. Since they were sharing the responsibilities of production, they all decided that they would have to reach a consensus as far as which of the 25 tracks that were recorded would be included on the album. They chose the tracks that were more electronic/keyboard oriented and that were more upbeat and "pop-ish" sounding. However, while the band insists on this being "a disposable pop album that you won't want to throw away" many critics insist that it is an excellent foray into psychedilia and dubbed the music "nu-psychedelic". Ghrys explains that psychedelic music should consist of more improvised material and says that all of the music here was pre-planned and has structure. So he insists that it is pop oriented.

Since the tracks are quite brief, that pop idea might hold out. However, even though the album did exceedingly well in Britain, the sounds on the album are very new and interesting, far above the typical pop sound. There are some very infectious tracks on here and there are some very experimental sounding tracks here too. Like I said, this album sports a wide variety of music, and a lot of it is very innovative. Just like most of SFA's other albums, I find this a very enjoyable album which breaks out of the mold of regular run of the mill pop more than it follows the typical pop formulas. Is it progressive though? Well probably not as much as most prog lovers would like, but I will definitely tell you it is much better than a lot of the usual sounding rock and pop music out there. I find it adventurous and interesting.

Most people seem to miss the fact that there are 2 hidden tracks on this album. The hidden track at the end is pretty much expected because it comes after several minutes of silence at the end of the last track. However, the other hidden track is in the pre-gap of the CD. If you start the CD and then hit rewind back to the first of the song and the CD will flip to the hidden beginning track, which is actually a full song and not the typical hidden track filler, so if you like the rest of the album, then you should take the time to find this track. Samples were used in unconventional ways. For example, the "Where Ever I Lay My Phone" is based on a repetitive conventional ring tone, while "The Door of This House Remains Open" is based on a processed recording of the band performing Rod Stewart's "Do You Think I'm Sexy". A lot of the music was also recorded as different situations dictated. The track "Northern Lights" is based on island rhythms that utilizes steel drums that were added at the last minute and played by the keyboardist who didn't know how to play steel drums.

I suppose the thing that would make this album lean towards the progressive genre is in the interesting methods of recording and the experiments in making popular music more interesting. While the album didn't do exceptional in the states, it was quite highly regarded and popular in Britain where it hit number 10 on the British Albums Chart. The music is definitely pop-prog in the same vein as 10CC, David Bowie or Roxy Music with sounds of glam-rock echoing throughout. I love the variety and the originality of the album, but I can't quite consider it a masterpiece. But it is better than a lot of other material out there and definitely far above they typical pop record. I see this as a strong 4 star album just as good as most 10CC albums if not better and more modern sounding and innovative. However, the band was a little put off over bad experiences from their foray into pop territory, that the next album "Mwing" would be almost a complete opposite to this being a lo-fi recording with most lyrics performed in somewhat non-existent language.

Review by DangHeck
3 stars The UK's Super Furry Animals always struck me as significant to Alternative Rock and Power Pop, so when I discovered they were here on ProgArchives that was exciting. Certainly, the melding of "Alternative" music and Pop has been happening since the birth of progressive music as a niche part of the Pop canon (the mid-to-late-60s), and SFA weren't the first to approach these styles for their generation. And from my memory, their third LP, Guerrilla, is far fuller with experimentation and brings a diverse allotment of genres and moods than what came before.

Don't be too keen to check your volume, as the opener, "Check It Out", begins out of a sea of silence, broken before the first minute, to what I would describe as something happily owing to Psych Pop. The bass and straight drum rhythm bounce accordingly, as these elements collide with minor-key guitar crunch. Pre-second verse, we are greeted with bright flutes (perhaps performed most convincingly on Moog). This is a strong track and its progressive elements come in the form of sonic depth in the least. The track closes out seemingly prematurely, with the quieting of the airwaves, until a few seconds later, a funny, little electro-Jazz thing closes out the number officially. Interesting choices, to be sure. Breaking the silence in a more definite way, "Do or Die" is to follow, a straight-ahead Alt Rock number, hearkening back to synth-heads like Game Theory. Strong, though simple melodies and infectious riffs can be found herein. Our heads are then turned back to the psych-soak pastoral of "The Turning Tide", Gruff Rhys's warm, throaty vocals matched with Rhodes, acoustic guitar and piano, and a small string ensemble to boot. Lovely.

The mood shifts most suddenly into a vaguely Caribbean cadence on "Northern Lites". Charming vocals sing great melodies (best thus far). The small ensemble of strings from the previous track is replaced by a crew of horns. This is more in line with Brian Wilson than sharing any commonality with much from the Symphonic Prog of old and has nothing to do with the Post-progressive Rock of Radiohead and their ilk. "Night Vision" buzzes into my earbuds, evoking punky Garage Rock, though the backing vocals are broadly... R'n'B? I have no idea what it is haha. Frankly, a corny song to me. The electronic droning in the latter half before the choral return was a nice choice. Perhaps overall, this may appeal to fans of Ween. I'm struck with a similar feeling at the start of "Wherever I Lay My Phone (That's My Home)", as a scurrying, almost rapping group of sampled, distorted voices introduce another lighthearted number. Certainly, Rhys's vocals are also rap-like, not to be confused with any atonal deliveries from whitey (i.e. Punk, at large). I hope they had fun, anyway haha. "A Specific Ocean" follows, with cool, downtempo beats and simple instrumentation, a sort of 1-minute interlude.

I struggle to call "A Specific Ocean" an interlude in the sense that it's tying things together, but it does break things up. Next is "Some Things Come from Nothing", at least following in a chill vibe not dissimilar to that interlude. As we get two minutes in, I'm definitely resonating with the title. The instrumentation is sparse and more focused on the electronic. Very full mix on this one, despite its minimalism. On this note, this is one of a few decisions they made which just feel like a mark against the album as a whole. To follow, and most suddenly, "The Door to This House Remains Open" is somehow based on a jam sesh on the Rod Stewart classic "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" haha. Pretty remarkable. This is a full embrace of technology in what I would consider a sonic triumph. Definitely understand (limitedly) the Boards Of Canada comparison, but it broadly has a Drum'n'Bass approach to the rhythm section, with sharp, rolling drums and deep, droning bass.

Back to Alt-Rock optimism, "The Teacher" is another straight-ahead song with not so much in the way of surprises, but does have solid melodies and is strengthened by varied percussion and a repeated, tone-setting organ crescendo. Next, we are lulled back to bed with the soft, heartfelt "Fire in My Heart", a Rootsy ballad. Definitely some strengths here, again praise due to the mix. "The Sound of Life Today" is an even shorter interlude, a scurrying of light synth lines, readying us for the dreamy start to "Chewing Chewing Gum". Vocal harmonies drift in and out of the mix until they remain in strength, only fortified by the building drums, simple but true. Another tune that literally sprouted out of near-nothingness. Grateful for my Psychedelic education (in more than one way), as the reward of this number comes fullest with time. Interestingly, this reminded me of offerings from Sweden's Beardfish. Finally, "Keep the Cosmic Trigger Happy" comes with a 10+ minute track length. This is a return to the bright Psych Pop of the album's start. I could see others drawing parallels to Queen as well. It's a playful song, which only offers more and more, thank god for the technology, I say. Of course, no surprise now, the 10-minute length was a farse, the song closing around 3 minutes, and so I wait... Just kidding. The hilarious thing about this must-be hidden track, a reprise of "Chewing Chewing Gum", lasts so brief, it feels like a huge joke has been played on me. Respect.

Latest members reviews

3 stars There's some more interesting material on Guerrilla than on its predecessors, but it's still pretty patchy. "Check It Out" is a strange-sounding strack with a great rhythm section and nice string sound. It flows very nicely into the more hard-edged, poppy "Do or Die" - what a shame I don't act ... (read more)

Report this review (#119128) | Posted by cursestar | Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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