Super Furry Animals Rings Around The World

After 2000's surprisingly good Welsh-language opus Mwng, those wacko Welsh wunderkinds return with their debut major label release, Rings Around The World, ready to break into the big time. While the Furries have made a name for themselves in the past with wonderfully creative and fun albums, they have never really had the budget necessary to facilitate their artistic visions. This time around, with major label support, the band have pulled off their grandiose vision and truly hit the nail on the head. As far as the Super Furries go, Rings... is their Pet Sounds, or at the very least their own Sgt. Pepper, arguably both, especially with Paul McCartney contributing percussion through carrot chewing, of all things! Criss-crossing musical boundaries on the album's 13 tracks, from indie pop to hard funk to death metal to techno and back, Rings... picks up where 1999's Guerrilla left off and takes it to the next level of sonic weirdness, yet it all works in spades. Definitely one of the finest records of 2001, here's hoping the album (and accompanying DVD, with music videos for each album track!) will see proper release in Canada before the year's end. (Epic)