In a world that classes Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5 as ‘rock’ music we need the Supersuckers more than ever – and on their latest slab ‘Play That Rock ‘n’ Roll’ they gather up their 30 years in the business and lay it down without compromise, without any fucks given about what anyone thinks.
The 12 tracks that roar from this album sound like they could be played in a stadium, but more likely in the grubbiest biker truck stop in front of drunk, adoring fans – true sleaze rock; not preening pretender sleaze.
This is a three-piece that have recorded their 13th album and as Eddie Spaghetti said: “it is our love letter to good, ass kicking Rock ‘n’ Roll”.
Such hyperbole, along with the accompanying PR blurb can normally be dismissed, but in the case of ‘Play That Rock ‘n’ Roll is justified. Here there are no frills, no fillers, just pure bred excellence.
Take the wonderful ‘Deceptive Expectations’ – riffs like early DC, and an ear worm chorus: each phrase and lick is economically used.
Like that track the Supersuckers do no hide their influences, from DC to referencing The Ramones and Motorhead on the title track. However, they are no mere copyists, slavishly following. Rather they wrap it all up in their own Southern-style, tied up with a snarl and a smile.
The two covers they have included here exemplify this. Michael Monroe’s ‘Dead, Jail or Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is delivered with bluster and blistering energy. Allen Toussisant’s ‘A Certain Girl’ has more panache than most band’s could ever dream of and capturing all the original’s humour. (And, yes the original had to be checked out)
Yes, the Supersuckers take their craft very seriously, but the knowing wink to the audience is that they play damn fine music and know that they can have a laugh; for fuck sake there is a track on here called ‘Getting Into Each Others Pants’.
The brooding ‘Ain’t No Day Like Yesterday’ concludes the album with a wistful note, as Spaghetti laments and celebrates. One suspects that this will become a standard on their forthcoming dates, if even just to give the audience a moment to catch breath.
What many so called bands could learn is the immediacy that Supersuckers deliver. Partly that may be because they tracked it over four days – four days at none other than Willie Nelson’s studio in Texas. Sure it is raw, but that works to its advantage. No fucking about, no over-thinking, no FX – in short no bullshit.
As Mr Spaghetti says: 2It’s for the few, the proud, the People of Impeccable Taste, the Connoisseurs Of Quality.”
Join us, grab a beer and get rocking with the Supersuckers
Review by Jonny Traynor
‘Play That Rock ‘N’ Roll’, set for release on February 7th on Steamhammer / SPV as a Digipak CD, 140 gram red vinyl LP (with printed inner sleeve), download and stream.