Grumbling Fur’s two lead protagonists – Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker – are busy. With ties to many of the UK’s most prominent experimental exports, their collaborations just this year include work with Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley, This Heat and Ulver, as well as a Tucker solo album and the publication of his latest comic. Consequently Furfour is permeated by London’s avant-garde – including appearances by This Heat’s Charles Bullen and artwork by collaborator and Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner.
Furfour’s experimentation covers a lot of ground. There’s minimal electronica in Come Down And Watch Them’s glitchy intro and Suneaters’ sparse, rattling beat; there’s the lo-fi, mournful new wave pop of Milky Light and Silent Plans/Black Egg, which pays more than a passing reference to Depeche Mode and Dave Gahan’s vocal turns; there are nods to a Revolver-era fascination with world music in the exhaustive list of instrumentation used (or mimicked).
But where this album is most accomplished is in exploring these areas while remaining anchored to something warm and accessible. Unafraid to test its own boundaries, here’s an album with glorious, joyful pop at its heart.