It’s 1999 and the Supersuckers had just dropped The Evil Powers of Rock ‘N’ Roll. My mate Dan was already a big fan and he had an illegal copy on cassette. Misfits graced side B in case you were wondering. Dan was like, “you’ve never heard the Supersuckers? Well listen to this!” My God, that album smacked me around the chops and we played that album to death. It’s worth noting that the pair of us were pill freaks. We’d have E’s for breakfast, dinner and tea if we could. Whilst the majority of the post nightclub party in my grotty Newport bedsit would want The Chemical Brothers, me and Dan would want the Supersuckers. Every time we’d get to track three, Dan would leave the bong and hug one of the speakers. I Want the Drugs? You bet your arse.
Fast-forward 20 something years and the Supersuckers are still at it. It’s no mean feat given the health scares endured by main man and mainstay Eddie Spaghetti. By album number 13’s title, there’s no doubting which version of the Supersuckers is gonna turn up. Yep, it’s the shit-kicking, hard-rocking, whiskey-swilling outlaws. It has to be said that their country outings are equally as enjoyable and their last, Holdin’ the Bag, was as strong an album as ever. So, what can we expect when the Supersuckers Play That Rock ‘N’ Roll in the year 2020? Is it a follow on from the Mötorhead influence on the 2018 effort that was Suck It? If I’m honest, it’s something a little bit different.
The telltale sign of the feel of the album is cemented with a take on Michael Monroe’s Dead, Jail or Rock ‘N’ Roll. Have the Supersuckers gone glam with their originals? In parts, yes. You could be forgiven for thinking that Ain’t Gonna Stop (Until I Stop It) is a secret track from Zodiac Mindwarp’s Tattooed Beat Messiah album. With that riff, I’m being deadly serious here. Having previously tackled Rock On by Gary Glitter, maybe the UK glam influences were staring us right in the face all along.
You Ain’t The Boss of Me comes on like The Sweet in the verse and Suzi Quatro’s Can the Can in the chorus. Strip That’s a Thing of its vocals and I’m pretty sure you get the chord sequence from Mud’s Tiger Feet. The floor tom stomping title track threatens some glittery platform shoes before shuffling with a boogie. This may read as too much of a diversion from the masters of cow punk, but as the Supersuckers wrap their trademark Tucson sound around things, it’s win win all the way. The album still rocks harder than anything a millennial could muster.
There’s certainly a twinkle in Eddie Spaghetti’s eye on Play That Rock ‘N’ Roll. It’s the sound of a band having fun, and after 30 years, who can blame ‘em. With the vinyl revival, the Supersuckers have lived beyond 2003’s stance of Rock ‘N’ Roll Records (Ain’t Selling This Year). If there’s any justice, this rock ‘n’ roll record deserves to sell-out quicker than a scurry through Born With a Tail. Unlike my mate Dan at the top of the page – buy it. Ginge Knievil
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