Supersuckers- The Evil Powers of Rock’n’Roll – Review

Supersuckers

The Evil Powers of Rock’n’Roll (Koch)
by Jon Sarre

Five records down the road and still singin’ ’bout smokin’ pot outta Coke cans; burnouts for life, man: The Supersuckers. Suppose that way yer gonna know they’re no sellouts, not when the band’s still livin’, breathin’, and eatin’ the fuckin’ rock’n’roll lifestyle like 24-7 hedonists. Cynics’ll tell ya that the punkrockcowpoke in an AC/DC tour shirt shit is gettin’ sorta old, but then ya consider that the ‘Suckers almost single-handedly (maybe with an assist from the good Rev. Horton Heat) spawned a sub-genre of Les Paul wieldin’, Stetson wearin’, sideburn sportin’ hayseed/grease-monkey hipster Rock (with a capital “R”, no less). Check out all the assorted Satanic cowboys like Custom Made Scare out there, every city has at least one. Hell, even Garth Brooks just made a rock album!

In all truth, the new Supersuckers platter, The Evil Powers of Rock’n’Roll, is pretty solid. High points outnumber the low ‘uns (and dig that mighty wall of guitar sound). The record’s a celebration of everything implied in the title: drinkin’ (“Cool Manchu” plus many more), drugs (“I Want the Drugs”), fightin’ (“Fisticuffs”), even gamblin’ (“Gone Gamblin’)” and let’s not forget the reason they’re around in the first place, rock’n’roll in general (“My Kickass Life”). Yeah, it’s another dirt-track workout and ya gotta figure Eddie Spaghetti et al can do in the midst of a, um, “lifestyle-induced blackout.”

The real standout material, however, exists as cracks in the whole “Live Fast” facade. Whether the miles are starting to break down the hearts of these road warriors, or they’ve just simply got a wee bit tired of uno-dimensionality, when they go soft like they do on the Descendents meet Social Distortion “Stuff’n’Nonsense,” the Supersuckers change-up into what is possibly their most radio-friendly (read: sounding like a pop song, and I mean that in a good way) ditty ever, nonchalantly shrugging “what the hey” as they go. On the heels of that comes “Dirt Roads, Deadends and Dust,” which could be mistaken for Aerosmith on a bad day. “Goin’ Back to Tuscon” is one of those hittin’-the-old-hometown-and-knowin’-why-you-don’t-live-there-anymore-wistful-what-happened-to-everyone-who-didn’t-split alienation pieces that’ll maybe have ya reachin’ for yer mirrored cop shades if yer the type to get misty over that kinda thing. “Hot Like the Sun” is the closest the Supersuckers’ve come to admitting that, at this point, it may be too late to celebrate anything but bein’ fucked up. “Remember when we were young and famous?” they ask, dropping the hint. All that said and done, just like ole Merle Haggard (they tear thru his “I Can’t Hold Myself in Line” here), they pack the gear into the van and hit the road again.
(740 Broadway New York, NY 10003)

 

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