Supersuckers

Evil Powers of Rock 'n' Roll

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Continuing as the Cheap Trick of underground rock & roll, the Supersuckers' 1999 release, the band's fifth full-length (including its brief foray into honky tonk with Must've Been High), is appreciatively a more focused release than Sacrilicious. Part of that resides in the return of founding guitar player Ron Heathman, who remained absent for the recording of Sacrilicious due to drug problems. His return obviously resolidified the quartet, whose straightforward mixture of Nazareth, Thin Lizzy, the Ramones, and aforementioned Cheap Trick, is potently evident on this release. The abundantly talented twin-guitar attack of Ron Heathman and Dan Bolton approximates -- in a punk rock manner -- the soaring harmonies of Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. Given the directness and assurance these songs resonate with, it seems that the Supersuckers have overcome the tongue in cheek rock & roll irony inscribed in their earlier albums. What remains is a steel-solid, speedy rock band. Vocalist Eddie Spaghetti continues holding court like Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High; it's all drugs, women, high school schlock, gambling, the road, and good times delivered with a grin. Though the band never takes itself too seriously, they are a more than capable pop-driven four-piece. Songs like "Cool Manchu" and "Dirt Roads, Dead Ends, and Dust" allow the band to flex its twangy roots, while "I Want the Drugs" and "Stuff 'N' Nonsense" are perfect pieces of simple power pop.

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