SUPERSUCKERS - Play That Rock'N'Roll (Album Review)
Release date February 7, 2020 (Acetate Records)
This is the twelfth full length studio album from Tucson’s Supersuckers since their 1988 formation. The 11 song, thirty-three minute effort is firmly in the hard rock camp, with the band having left their rousing punk’n’roll roots behind a few albums ago.
Despite the increase in age and decrease in velocity, the band still sounds good in all facets. Bassist/vocalist Eddie Spaghetti still has the same “I don’t give a shit” attitude that he has exuded his entire career. This is the fourth album for both guitarist Marty Chandler and drummer Christopher von Streicher, so they are firmly ensconced in the Supersuckers sound. The production is professional grade.
The issue this reviewer has with this album is, as already noted, that the band have mellowed out quite a bit in recent years. Their best material from the 1990s had a heavy punk influence, and now that that is pretty much gone, the results are disappointing in comparison.
Still, after repeated listens, this album does show signs of being a bit of a grower. Eddie Spaghetti’s lyrics are as amusing as ever, and despite the age-addled, overall mid-level pacing of the album, many of the songs will end up sticking in your brain.
That’s the thing with the Supersuckers….even a somewhat mediocre effort is still better than the output of 99% of other bands. Spaghetti and Co. clearly know that every good rock’n’roll tune needs a hook, and they make sure every one of their songs does. Many other bands could learn a lesson from these boys. Standout tracks include “Bringing it Back”, “Play That Rock n’ Roll”, “That’s a Thing” and “Dead, Jail or Rock n’ Roll”.
If you’re a Supersuckers fan, then this is worth a spin to see what you think. After a few listens you’ll find some things to like in here. If you’ve never heard of the band, then start with 1999’s The Evil Powers of Rock ‘N’ Roll and work your out way from there.