Thursday, August 7, 2003 @ 1:57 PM
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Not too many new records make an impression right off the bat, so when a record reaches out, grabs you by the throat and demands, “Listen to me!” -- you do. Such is the case with the new self-titled offering from New Orleans rockers Supagroup.
Formed in the bawdy backrooms of the Crescent City, Supagroup serves up a heaping helping of rock tunes reminiscent of AC/DC with shades of the Rolling Stones, freshly prepared. The cover shot of guitarist Benji Lee, hair flying in a glorious headbang, captures the true essence of the record: a true rock record fueled by strong solid guitar work and helped along with the frenetic rhythms of drummer Michael Brueggen and bassist Leif Swift, topped off by Chris Lee’s swaggering vocals. I have been unable to get this one out of my CD player since I got it.
Supagroup tells the story of a bunch of guys determined to make it in the rock world against all struggles. It starts off running with “Rock ‘N Roll Tried To Ruin My Life,” a high energy introduction invoking the rock Godfather himself, Bon Scott, moving into “Woulda Been Nice,” a rockin’ tune that catches the attention with Rolling Stone-like harmonies. One of my personal favorites on the record is “One Better,” which addresses the competitive spirit between the old school and “nu-school” bands and features the by-now trademark harmonies and a blistering guitar solo by Lee. “I Need A Drink” conjures up the sometime sleazy but unmistakable essence of New Orleans with a slow groove and lyrics inspired by a customer at the bar co-owned by Chris Lee (“Work is the curse of the drinking man.”)
The record slows down right in the middle with “Murder Suicide Death,” which is the kind of tune you’d expect to hear playing on the jukebox at your local bar right around closing time. Right as you’ve had time to catch your breath, you’re thrown back into the action with high-octane rockers like “Bats Out the Belfry” and “Down to the Letter,” ending your journey through Supagroup turf with “Back by Popular Demand,” which scatters your brains all over the place keeping up with the chord changes despite Brueggen’s rock-solid drumming which stands out on this tune.
All in all, Supagroup is a record of catchy tunes about rockin' and drinkin’, so lift a glass or bottle of your favorite beverage, crank up the volume and sing along with Supagroup!
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