Album Review: The Pale Blue Dots – Lots of Dots

The Breakdown

Hugely entertaining psych pop set from Super Furry Animals guitarist Huw 'Bunf' Bunford
Strangetown Records

Huw ‘Bunf’ Bunford, the guitarist from Welsh indie legends Super Furry Animals, met composer Richard Chester when Bunford was pursuing academic interests while the Furries were on an extended hiatus. Shared interests and a desire to work together lead to the formation of The Pale Blue Dots and the forthcoming release of their album, “Lots of Dots”.

The album opens with the ambient sounds of “Tokyo Hotel Silence” before launching into the rolling, rollicking “Slow Reaction”, with its rumbling pianos and harmony laden vocals redolent of a sixties sounding Byrds. Have a listen:

“Devastation” for some reasons reminds me of The Travelling Wilburys, with its Jeff Lynne-type vocals and orchestral choruses, yet with a far edgier punch. “Reach for the Keys” develops further this orchestral vocal sound with a massive hooky chorus.”Silent Tokyo Hotel” reprises the opening ambient noise as a midway pause. “No Motivation” is a poppy take of a bleary eyed mid afternoon break – a meeting of  a weary cynical The Beatles with 10CC.

“Aquarium” is a psychedelic stroll with lazy strings underlying reverb-drenched vocal layers. “Look In My Eyes” is a more jaunty uptempo pop song with a slightly discordant undercurrent that makes it greater than the sum of its parts. Th e album closes with “Nebraska” that is more experimental and veers away from the standard pop format; indicating better than any other song on the album the fruits of this unusual collaboration.

This is psychedelic pop at it’s most entertaining. Much like the Super Furry Animals themselves, it is commercial pop rock that is somewhat subverted by an intangible twist that makes it unique and very enjoyable. The album is available through Strangetown Records.

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