Has the British Invasion returned? Supergrass, along with other bands like Travis, is making major record releases in American stores. And so far the response is firing up the Brit Invasion once again.
Supergrass’ self-titled third album grows in the right area of American music: good rock ‘n’ roll with an alternative side; think Fountains of Wayne, with more edge. Supergrass creates great music that is far from the bland teen pop and white-trash rap-metal-punk that is brainwashing America today.
Chances are the music isn’t all that unfamiliar. The only major American release prior to Supergrass, “Alright,” was featured on the Clueless soundtrack and received decent airplay. Supergrass’ sound continues with the catchiness of that single on their latest “Pumping on Your Stereo.”
For now, it only really plays on MTV’s “After Hours” as a breakthrough video. Don’t expect to watch it during the day until the rest of America catches on to something good.
Very politely the lead singer Gaz Coombes asks, “Can you hear us humping on your stereo?” (a purposeful but offbeat rhyme to the title) and the band proceeds to rock away to those simple lyrics for most of the song. While the single is not a showcase of the most complicated songwriting, the band shows its many sides throughout the rest of the album.
“Mary”, the international single, is much richer. “I’m gonna push you further into my dream/the back of every head holds something obscene,” sings Coombes with grit in his voice over darker, more aggressive music which closely mimics the dark undertones of abuse throughout the song.
The opening song “Movin'” does just that with the whole album. Once the album starts playing, it is difficult to stop. Other songs include the Beatles-influenced “What Went Wrong (In Your Head)” with their trademark “la la la la la.”
Supergrass features an eclectic mix of musical styles, ranging from rock to more alternative and even in the end a much slower ballad-like song “Mama & Papa.” The music matches the theme of the song perfectly.
Supergrass’ first major American release looks to pave the way to future success for the band and for other British bands. Worst case scenario, the British Invasion stays on the fringes. Best case: The Brits civilize the American music scene.
– Brian Swope