Supergrass, S/T (Parlaphone)

Posted January 5th, 2000 by admin

By: Eric G.

This is classic British pop music on the same level as early Rolling Stones and even Abbey Road-era Beatles. "Moving" kicks off Supergrass' third album with a schizophrenic tone: the moody, string-laden intro slips effortlessly into the kind of funky rocker only Supergrass could pull off. Vocalist Gaz Coombes busts out sounding exactly like Thom Yorke of Radiohead- his impressive range on full display as he soars above his acoustic guitar, but, as is the case with all Supergrass songs despite whatever influences are on display, it ends up sounding distinctly like Supergrass. This album is the band's darkest and, yet, it's catchier than I Should Coco and more accomplished than In It For The Money. Supergrass just keeps getting better and better.

Supergrass was offered the chance to have its own sitcom a la The Monkees thanks to Steven Spielberg's infatuation with its infectious debut hit "Alright", but the band turned the proposal down because it wanted to focus on making records. First of all, how many bands would get an opportunity like that? And secondly, how many bands would have the balls and bravado to turn it down? Supergrass is a self-proclaimed 'albums band', although it's singles are all bursting with the kind of energy and panache that bands like The Who and The Kinks imbibed in their respective classics. I'd say Supergrass has made the right decision turning down a sitcom because, if it keeps making albums like this one, it will surely outlive any fleeting fame a television show could have yielded.

"Your Love" is an outstanding pop song with a verse as catchy as its growling and rollicking chorus is. Supergrass isn't afraid to put Beach Boy harmonies over a jaunty piano riff and sing "What Went Wrong (In Your Head)" while making it all sound like an understatement. "Pumping On Your Stereo" rocks as much as any classic Rolling Stones song and Gaz does a better Mick Jagger than Mick Jagger does without even trying. This band is busting at the seams with ideas that flaunt its influences yet sound totally innovative and unique. Supergrass is Britain's underdog purveyor of pop music. Oasis wants it too bad and is bogged down with bland ambivalence while Blur has chosen a different path altogether. And Suede sounds too much like, well, Suede to carry on any kind of grand tradition, which is not to say that Supergrass addresses any kind of pressure to save or sustain British pop. It's just that Supergrass makes timeless and beguiling pop music with depth and definition that gets better with every album.

Tags: review