SXSW Records

Phases and Stages


Life on Other Planets (Island) In 1996, England's Supergrass brought the then-nascent Britpop explosion stateside in a burst of manic teenage energy. Shortly thereafter, they all but vanished, leaving behind a pair of muttonchop sideburns and what appeared to be Limahl's hairpiece. Much has been made of the Oxford trio's apparent disregard for the niceties of Yank-stroking; they've been so far off the American radar in the past decade that they might as well have been the Wedding Present, forlorn and unopened, on the altar of college radio. Which is odd, since Gaz Coombes' so-fuzzed-it-might-as-well-be-a-moldy-peach guitar, Mickey Quinn's chunkier-than-Jif bass, and Danny Goffey's drill press drumming always coalesces into something buoyant and fresh. Bouncy, jouncy, flouncy, trouncy -- fun, fun, fun, fun, fun -- Supergrass are like Tigger on a bathtub crank bender, and Life on Other Planets, with the smirk of "Rush Hour Soul" and hashed-out splendor of "Never Done Nothing Like That Before" (pure the Damned) is a juvenile cluster bomb of goofy guitar shenanigans. It's a hit-or-miss affair (when is Supergrass not?), sporting, as it does, the T-Rex/Kinks/Sweet cadger "Grace" and annoyingly electro closer "Run." Everyone's second favorite band, still. (Stubb's, Saturday, March 15, midnight)


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