Supergrass

Caught by the Fuzz [Bootleg]

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Though there are better sounding Supergrass live albums out there (Oxygen's Feel Alright! for one), and more inclusive track listings too, anybody searching for the reasons why these particular young mod rebels were so widely feted in hometown Brit-pop could do a lot worse than this. Maturing at a rate that the unabashedly post-Monkees vibe of the I Should Coco debut never hinted at and augmenting the band's classic three-piece rock thrust with decidedly Jam-like horns and hooks, Supergrass had already dropped its best-known songs from its live set by the time this was recorded. So, no "Mansize Rooster," no "Lenny," and no points for whoever dreamed up this album's title, because that song isn't here either. That, however, is the album's sole major failing. From the violently striking color cover through a healthy recounting of a riotous midsummer show in Dublin and three U.K. TV bonus tracks, Fuzz compensates for an ever so slightly off-kilter live mix by capturing Supergrass at its most supercharged. Even more excitingly, four then-new songs, "Odd?," "Richard the Third," "Melanie Davis," and "Going Out" offered a sneak preview (and now, a vivid reminder) of just how dynamic the second 'grass album sounded, a blistering blend of "Beat Surrender" exuberance and Small Faces smarm. Long-term Brit-poppers might also detect a hint of glam rockers Jet on the edge of a couple of songs, and that really is a comparison that doesn't get made every day.

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