Cian Ciaran - They Are Nothing Without Us
For some, 2013 was the year artists started fighting back. You may have noticed ex-acid house poster boy Bobby Gillespie mouthing off on the front of the NME or Beta Band legend Steve Mason's new protest anthem 'Fight Them Back'... but sadly, other than androgynous post-punkers Savages, only the dinosaurs seem to be getting their social angst out in the open. Crowd funded by fans, Super Furry Animals keyboardist Cian Ciaran's second album is an anger-fuelled creative 180. By ditching his signature keys for guitars, Ciaran confessed a desire 'to turn up the volume and reflect' things needed to be said. It's a far cry from band mate Gruff Rhys' sugary 70s melodies with Ciaran proving his mettle as a rock n' roll stallion.
Lead cut 'Sewn Up' is short, caustic and to the point: “You morally corrupt fucking murderers / And you think you've got it / All sewn up in your little back pocket / But I won't help you fatten your wallet / And I hope you choke on your profit” spits Ciaran doing his best Jim Reid impression – no joke, this really deserves to be a hit. Ballsy orb throwing aside, the Furries did introspective weirdness better than anyone and on tracks like 'Sleepless Nights' and 'Peaked' that imprint is clear as ever. While Ciaran's guitar playing is often a little one dimensional with the same chords and tempos seemingly chiming up too many times to count, his conviction, creativity and charm more than fills the cracks. This is an effortless listen and one that brings a touch of amplification to 2013's somewhat limp British rock output. Fans of the Furries should have no trouble finding love in Ciaran's call to arms, while those with mere intrigue have nothing to loose. A great record to end the summer.