Electric Frankenstein / Supersuckers

Splitsville, Vol. 1

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The Supersuckers remain a high-energy, kick-ass combo for those who lament that nowadays too much of the original rock 'n' roll spirit, groove, and omnipotent bass/drums chops has been excised from modern punky rock -- and let's not even start on the corps (nay, corpse!) of turgid, phony alterna-rock-rap crap fouling the air(waves). As if to prove that Australia doesn't have a stranglehold on ferocious, wild, post-MC5/Stooges pink-hot Detroit punk 'n' roll, these jokers exist to turn the needles into the red, with a stack of potent riffs to match, all designed to knock you flat on your lazy butt. The sheer sonic smack of "Devils Food" and "Then I'm Gone" is the sort of rip-roaring, heavy, straight-ahead stuff that's as timeless as pizza and as nasty as a Chicago gale-force winter wind. The first four songs just huff and puff and blow your doors down, in the spirit of the best Radio Birdman-to-Celibate Rifles-to-Helicopters convention, except with a more measured power-attack. Only the poorly-conceived, oddly moribund, acoustic-y cover of Electric Frankenstein's "Teenage Shutdown" fails to rip your insides out. But as for the four originals, it's a great band never better. After that, the venerable E.F. themselves are slightly outclassed. They don't quite have the sus, weight, precision playing, and hair-raising whomp, thwack, and buzz of the 'Suckers, nor quite the torrid tunes, either -- at least in such immediate comparison. Most of all, Steve Miller's ├╝ber-snarl pales next to their friends' more direct talent. But all that's no crime, and judged on their own convincing merits, and their own wild guitar leads out of the James Williamson playbook, their second half of this split is still the sound of stubborn rockers refusing to age.

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