Supersuckers – “Holdin’ The Bag” (Steamhammer / SPV)
As legendary for their charity as the number of bands they’ve recorded and toured with, including Willie Nelson, Motorhead, The Ramones, Nashville Pussy, The New York Dolls etc, no one should leave the world without listening to at least one of their albums – according to the late great Lemmy ‘…if you don’t like the Supersuckers, you don’t like rock n roll!..’! Originally formed in the late 80s, only bassist / vocalist Eddie Spaghetti now remains (even after a recent bout of stage-3 throat cancer) with the Supersuckers now streamlined into a trio completed by guitarist ‘Mountain’ Marty Chandler and drummer ‘Captain’ Chris ‘All Nighter’ Von Streicher. Renowned for playing cow punk rock n roll, it wasn’t always the case with the band being signed to grunge label Sub Pop in 1992, although a brief flirt in 1997 with country soon grew and became a mainstay of today’s sound. “Holdin’ The Bag” is exactly that, being a mixture of cow punk, country rock n roll, garage country and southern country complete with slide geetars like on ‘High and Outside’. While not exactly being heavy in any sense, there’s a definite rock n roll attitude and sass in their material n lyrics so its easy to see why many a rocker loves these guys (especially when nursing a massive hangover) and along their own party on style why Supersuckers will never be bigger than a cult success, as the mainstream would simply be too afraid! Still, they’ve got plenty of friends like Lydia Loveless who guests on the brooding cow punk of ‘I Can’t Cry’ while Hayes Carll adds his measure on the cynical cowpoke rock n roll of ‘This Life Would Be A Whole Lot Better If I Didn’t Have To Share It With You’ ha ha! It’s a good job that at a coin flip the Supersuckers headed to Seattle back in the day rather than New Orleans cos a lynch mob might’ve gotten them for covering Billy Joe Shaver’s classic ‘Georgia On A Fast Train’, complete with some amazing finger pickin’, slide and regular guitar work from Chandler. Closing with ‘Loaded’ its Dropkick Murphys style singalong punk on the docks with some fast snare work from Mr All Nighter and again, Chandler’s cheeky guitars adding to the cheek n sass. However, I gotta admit a tear did appear in my eye on the re-work of Hank Williams Jr’s ‘All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)’ with lyrics referring to Steve Earle and Lemmy, now more poignant than ever with the recent demise of Motorhead’s legendary front man. With so much shit going on right now, I can see why so many seek solace in the Supersuckers, cos they sure know how to make a man smile with joy again.