1 of 2 thought this review was well written
Gaz Coombes - Guitar/Lead Vocals
Danny Goffey - Drums/Vocals
Mick Quinn - Bass/Vocals
*Rob Coombes - Piano (Not officially a member of Supergrass, but played on this album)
Anyone heard of 'em before? Because if you haven't, you need to check out this album right away. This is definately one of the best debut albums I've heard from a band in a long time, from the punk rock thunderstorm of 'I'd Like To Know' to the silly, lighthearted 'Time To Go', there is not ONE bad or mediocre song on this album. It's just hard to believe that this band has been so overlooked for over ten years. (Supergrass recently released 'Supergrass Is 10' a greatest hits, was released last year) If you enjoy great rock music, you'll most likely want to hear this album.
1. I'd Like To Know - 4:02
Holy punk rock, Batman! In the age of Brit-pop, where most bands had a certain 'air' about them, it sure is refreshing to hear a song like 'I'd Like To Know', which is most definately my favorite song on this album. The song starts with the classic '1,2 - 1,2,3,4!' into a surf guitar opening, that dives straight into the song headfirst. The verses contain a catchy 'lala-lalala' after every line, which pushes the song from great into catchy as hell. The song features an extremely catchy bassline and drum beat as it tears through the song faster then any other 'brit-pop' band from this era. The song technically ends about 3 minutes in, but after the surf intro is re-used to great effect, we are treated with a dynamic and flavorful outro that would make The Who proud. It's hard to believe 4 minutes can tear by that fast.
2. Caught By The Fuzz - 2:16
'Caught By The Fuzz' is probably Supergrass' most famous song. Which basically means that it's a fan favorite. While not as fast as 'I'd Like To Know', it's probably just as vicious. The song is basically about a night that lead singer/guitarist Gaz Coombes was arrested for smoking "illegal substances" when he was 15. The song basically deals with how fearful he is of what might happen to him. The song is very Green Day-ish, only a tad slower. There are plenty of catchy "ooohs" and "Wah-ooohs" to be had by all.
3. Mansize Rooster - 2:34
This is the song that tells you Supergrass is insane. :) Starting off with a drumroll that leads into a stomping "Madness"-esque beat, the song then leads into an uber-fast pre-chorus and seemlessly transfters into the chorus without a moment's rest. The song is REALLY fast. It's also REALLY catchy. The yells in the chorus and outro are definately a highlight, as well as the great guitar parts from Gaz, the speedy bass from Mick and the fast-as-hell drumming from Danny. It's a hard song to describe, as it's one that must be heard.
4. Alright - 3:01
And after 3 vicious rockers, we're treated with a catchy piano-driven, hip-shaker called 'Alright'. If I'm not mistaken, this was the bands highest charting sngle in England, and the video also led Spielberg (Yes, him) to attempt to craft a Monkey-ish TV show around the band. They refused the offer. (Thank God...) The song, is about being young and free and it's a fun, feel good song that will leave you singing-along. 'Alright' also has a poppy bassline and drumming to match, but it's the piano that stands out here. Another fan favorite.
5. Lose It - 2:37
A punk song with early Beatle-ish lyrics is the best way to describe this one. It's probably the most straight-ahead song on the album, as it's one of the few without an interesting 'twist' on it. But, that's ok, as it features more good-time rocking from the boys. The yells by Gaz, however, truly bring this song to life. 'Lose it' actually made it onto 'Supergrass is 10', so it must also be a band, as well as fan, favorite. Good stuff here.
6. Lenny - 2:42
If Led Zeppelin was a punk band, they'd sound something like 'Lenny' does.With a repetitive intro leading into the Led Zep inspired verses, this song comes firing out of the gate. Featuring bongos and catchy vocals, the song literally drives itself into your skull and refuses to leave. The second half of the song changes things up a bit by becoming a series of build-ups and drop-offs, leading into a breakdown with the one guitar riff still slamming itself into your brain. And brings it back around one more time to finish it off. It's a grower, but when you get it, you'll NEED it. If you know what I mean.
7. Strange Ones - 4:19
A strange song to describe, (Pun intended) the song starts off with a weird intro that sounds like an old horror movie with two people calling out to eachother over weird sounds in the background. The song starts out with a very Beatle-ish guitar strumming and singing "There's a place where the strange ones go, Where nobody here could know, They look down from the clouds and smile at, Everyone down below"
, leading into a repetition of the same verse with harder distorted playing from the guys with slightly altered lyrics "There's a place where the strange ones go, Where nobody here could know, They look down from the underground, At everyone down below"
and builds up where it all just gets shedded off for the chorus, featuring a single acoustic guitar with more 'folk-ish' singing. There is an odd drum solo coming from out of nowhere leading into a great guitar solo. Like I said, strange song. The outro leads into some weird noises of the outdoors with the sounds of people commuting, bells ringing and car sounds which drifts into.....
8. Sitting Up Straight - 2:20
A gentle piano sweeping up all that nasty rock music that just took place. Enchanting. Then after 20 seconds it gets RUDELY interupted by some good old rocking. Possibly faster than 'Mansize Rooster', this song is almost like a song The Who never wrote. Blistering out of the gate, with hypersonic, yet not overly loud or distorted, guitar, smooth bass, and punky drumming, lead this song to be one of the best on the album. The lyrics are about as weird as you can get. It's about sitting on a bus. "Sitting up straight on the back of a bus, Mimicking time as evening turns to dusk, Well, look at the boy with his face to the floor,
Have a little smoke to pass the time of the day"
Not typical rock lyrics at all. But that's what makes this song unique, and definately a stand-out on an album of stand-outs.
9. She's So Loose - 3:00
The slowest song on the album, with an excellent guitar solo, and strings that don't sound out of place, lead this one to be another unique song. The song actually gives you a fair idea of what Supergrass' third album (Self-titled) would sound like. (Outside of 'Pumping On Your Stereo') The acoustic guitar and somber mood really give this song a fairly good push in the direction of depressing. That is, if the lyrics made any sense. It's odd listing on the album is even weirder, as it comes between the sugar-charged 'Sitting Up Straight' and the so-insane-it's-genius 'We're Not Supposed To'. It's not exactly a highlight, but it's a unique song, and fun to listen to.
10. We're Not Supposed To - 2:03
If you gave a chipmunk an acoustic guitar and told him to sing, what would he do? Run away from you in terror, of course. Apparently Supergrass tried to do just that and ended up with this song as a result. It's a fun acoustic song with about 5 different chipmunk voices singing all over the place. It's a novelty song. But, surprisingly, it sticks. It doesn't get old on repeated listens of this album, and it's fun as hell to sing along to. Great stuff here.
11. Time - 3:10
After the crazed chipmounk infestation of the last song, we're lead into 'Time', a wonderful stomping blues number, unlike (Once again) anything else on this album. A harmonica, bouncing beat and crunching blues guitar playing, elevate this one high above what you'd expect. The way Gaz sings the lyrics just adds to the flavor of this wonderful blues anthem "The time, is on the way, My love, I know I'm going away, My love". The song also has a wonderful guitar/ harmonica solo, and ends in the classic blues way. No wonder this was released with 'Alright' as a double A-side.
12. Sofa (Of My Lethargy) - 6:18
Just when you think the album has peaked, you get this song thrown at you. A wonderful psychadelia song that floats along and crashes down at the right moments. "I wondered for a while, I didn't have that far to go, Waiting for a letter, Only to discover that I'm not the same"
the verses float along. After the verses, the chorus comes in HARD, crashing down like a punch in the stomach "Hold on now, all I want to do is see you, But everybody's here just sitting 'round staring at the ceiling, What you gonna find in your mixed up minds when you're dreaming? Could be we're not like you at all"
, leading into a wonderful organ solo, and an extremely psychadelic guitar solo, building up into the chorus again, reminding us that it's still there, and if you forget, it WILL come back to kick your ass. The rest of the song floats along, with the playing slightly getting twisted around, and several HARD drum rolls reminding you that if you divert your attention the chorus might return. But it never does, leading the song into a nice soft landing after 6 minutes of fun. Nice. :)
13. Time To Go - 1:56
After the 6 minute onslaught of Sofa, how could they keep going? Well, technically they're not. This song's the farewell song. It's not serious in the slightest, but it sure is fun to hear. "Thanks to everyone for everything you've done but now, It's time to go, You know it's hard, We've had some fun, But now the moment's come, It's time to go" are the lyrics of the song. With just an acoustic guitar bouncing along with a small electric guitar part and bassline, the song repeats it self once more for the final question to the audience. "Who could ask for more?" Well..... Me, for one.
After the album stops spinning, you'll most likely hear a loud thud. Yeah, that'll be your jaw hitting the floor. Pick it up, and push the play button again. You know you want to.
If you enjoy bands like Blur, The Beatles, Green Day, The Who, The Jam, The Kinks, The Living End, Or The Clash, give this album a listen.