Supersuckers – “Play That Rock ‘N’ Roll”

Supersuckers – “Play That Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Steamhammer / SPV)

Battle Helm Rating

30 years on the road. Man, that’s gotta do something to ya. And in the Supersuckers case, that’s something of an understatement given they’ve played every dirt floor dive bar, strutted into the limelight on The Tonight Show – and (successfully) battled throat cancer to tell the tale. Heavily tattooed and greasy as you might expect, the power trio of founder Eddie Spaghetti (Lead & Harmony Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass), Marty Chandler (Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals) and Chris von Streicher (Drums & Percussion, Backing Vocals) have toured the rock wastelands over the years, venturing even as far as Vladivostok, Russia (!), sharing stages with pretty much everyone ranging from Bad Religion to The Ramones, Motörhead, The Reverend Horton Heat, The New York Dolls, White Zombie, Nashville Pussy and Airbourne (to name but a few!). As such that should give the uninitiated an idea of what these veritable road dawgs are all about, namely damn fine US certified Grade A rock n roll – along with a hint of punk and cow rock. “Play That Rock ‘N’ Roll”, the trio’s 13th studio release, lives up to its name in every regard on the 12 tracks here, including a cover of Michael Monroe’s ‘Dead, Jail Or Rock´n`Roll’ and a revival of the Allen Toussaint penned ‘A Certain Girl’. Mixing fist fightin’ rockers with laid back road trippers and heart breaking crooners, the Supersuckers give it all to ya on this one, and don’t hold back on the throttle either. Try ‘Bringin’ It Back’ where Chandler’s burnin’ fretboard work and von Streicher’s hard beats, not forgetting their harmonies and background vocals, match Spaghetti’s whisky burned singing on this catchy chugging rocker whose pace is not just energetic, but busy with plenty of subtleties all adding their spice to invigorate it’s flavour, so you know there’s a lot going on here not just in the playing but equally the composing. Then there’s ‘You Ain’t The Boss Of Me’, a swanky hip shaker whose croons give way to a huge wang dang chorus complete with cowbell that hits you as hard as a Texas Longhorn before the strip teasing guitar and honky tonk vocals finally zonk you out on the floor. Closing with the bass heavy ‘Ain’t No Day Like Yesterday’, the moody sliding fretboard work gives way to an unexpected deep twist, probably going back to the band’s days on Sub Pop or alternatively, the morning after one helluva drink up – complete with screaming hangover judging by Spaghetti’s strained tones. Either way, Lemmy would be proud of these boys….

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