In 1997, the Supersuckers shocked the world by abandoning their infamous high-octane metal/punk mix in favor of honest, stripped-down country with Must’ve Been High. Major critical acclaim followed, and the band that once built up a massive underground following with songs like “She’s My Bitch” and “Ron’s Got the Cocaine” was now working with artists like Willie Nelson and Steve Earle, and playing Woodstock ‘99.
But thankfully, for all of us who crave drug-inspired, misogynist punk rock, the Supersuckers have torn up their contract with the artistic gods and re-upped with Satan. And the world is a better place because of this.
Any concerns about the direction of the ‘Suckers sound are assuaged as soon as their new album, The Evil Powers of Rock ‘N’ Roll, begins. Eddie Spaghetti screeches out a chorus that says exactly where his heart is—with the devil—while a riff thicker than week-old syrup chugs on behind him. Two tracks later, on “I Want the Drugs,” he’s praising narcotics more than football players thank God in press conferences. It’s classic Supersuckers, and a smile spreads across your face that is only slightly bigger than the gutter that is swallowing your mind. And the tempo never slows down.
Don’t get the wrong idea—The Evil Powers of Rock ‘N’ Roll is more than just doped-up lyrics and volume. “Dirt Roads, Deadends and Dust” is unabashedly pop (but still ultra-fast) and will have your head swaying as if you’re singing along to Hanson. “My Kickass Life” is proof that while the Supersuckers egos can at times be obnoxious, the band isn’t above occasional self-deprecating humor. And the guitar work, thanks to the return of original ‘Sucker Ron Heathman, is out of this world.
But ultimately, The Evil Powers of Rock ‘N’ Roll is exactly what the Supersuckers should’ve always been putting out—great punk rock. There’s no shortage of loud riffs and raunchy solos, and the jokes about weed, wild drinking and women never get old when they’re coming from arguably the best trash-rock band in the business. They walked away from the genre with Must’ve Been High, and while bands like Zeke and Speedealer held the fort fairly well, it’s nice to see that the Supersuckers are back doing what they best—showing the world how to rock.
// Notes from the Road
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