Howdy! As I gear myself up for re-entering the world of work again tomorrow morning I find I’ve been drawn inexorably to Supersuckers La Mono Cornuda it’s got just the right note of ‘Screw ’em all, let’s burn it on down and piss on the ruins’ that I need right now; big, loud and sweary.
At the height of the whole grunge thingy thing* Sub Pop realized that successful as they were they didn’t want to just be a one-trick pony and, I suspect, wanted to have some more fun too, which was when cool acts like The Supersuckers and The Reverend Horton Heat got signed up. The Supersuckers, with their cow-punk roots, metal stylings, and faux-redneck lyrics about beating-up students, shooting sprees and Jackalopes were a shoo-in for my affections; hey all my favourite bands are funny! Rumour has it Sub Pop nicknamed the band the Stupidfuckers.
Opening with the declaration that ‘This album is dedicated to the good fuckers and those who want to be good fuckers!’, we launch into ‘Creepy Jackalope Eye’ and I’m ashamed to say that fuzzy-minded European that I am I just assumed that a Jackalope was some sort of North-American antelope-based creature. I only found out the truth today**. But anyway, it’s a good song comparing certain Christian beliefs to believing in mythical creatures and just generally debunking various other myths,
Like the stars in the sky
Or the one on the stage
Just a big ball of gas
Or a guy fresh out of minimum wage
The next real highlight and the first track to convince me I was on to a winner the first time I played it was ‘High Ya!’, a whiplash-fast Motörhead-esque blast which lasts for all of 1:17 including a voicemail message from Mudhoney’s Matt Lukin arranging to meet lead singer Eddie Spaghetti (‘I’ll be holding, I’ll be holding’, what could he mean boys and girls?). It’s just a slap of adrenalized brilliance as far as I’m concerned, and you can never have too many of those. On a similar tip Side 2’s ‘How To Maximize Your Kill Count’, also rocks like a bad-ass beastie with evil sicko lyrics, ‘You gotta get more than 3 if you wanna be a messy massacre messiah’.
If I have a gripe it’s that the humour wears a bit thin on the likes of ‘She’s My Bitch’ and ‘Glad, Damn Glad’ and the Supersuckers’ default mode is a chugging, slightly muddy rock-grunge and so, old fart that I am, I tend to daydream my way between the great bits. None of it’s bad, even the last track ‘The Schmooze’ which is another voicemail, this time from Jack Endino trying to blag his way into a show, set to what sounds like someone playing a pinball machine in the background; but it does veer into average at times. Which is not to say that the band aren’t tight, Eddie Spaghetti plays a mean bass, Dan Bolton and Ron Heathman play an equally mean riff or two and Daniel Matzohballs (possibly not his given name?) pulverizes his kit with total abandon.
I bought the follow-up LP but it wasn’t as good and the laws of diminishing returns and country music eventually kicked in and I understand that Supersuckers current status is a bit legally arguable, but I’ll remember them this way, the way I found them in 1994 the month before Cobain died, Jackalopes and all.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, La Mano Cornuda translates as ‘The Horned hand’, basically our beloved metal gesture ( !..! ) I looked it up this morning.
*two weeks off really hasn’t dimmed my Pulitzer-worthy writing talents any. It seems to have become the fashion to diss, or at least diminish, the importance of the grunge movement, but for what it’s worth I loved it, not all of it, but quite sizeable chunks of it.
**I’m particularly taken with the fact that it has been designated Wyomings’ ‘Official mythical creature’ – don’t Wyoming politicians have anything better to do? does every state of the union have a mythical creature? Is Maryland the Wyvern State? or Colorado The Hobgoblin State? we need answers.