Supersuckers – Get the Hell [TrackList follows] – Acetate ATE7048, 34:57 [1/27/14] ****:
(Eddie Spaghetti – vocals, bass; Dan “Thunder” Bolton – guitar, backing vocals, trumpet (track 12); “Metal” Marty Chandler – guitar, backing vocals; Captain Von Streicher – drums, backing vocals, vibra-slap, tambourine, gong; Mickey Raphael – harmonica (track 4))
Some music is for times of reflection; some can be enjoyed for sophisticated artistry; and then there are groups like Seattle’s Supersuckers, who have always given the middle finger to mediocrity and conventionality. And so do their fans, based on a concert photo inside the fold-out digipak for Get the Hell, the group’s ninth and latest studio album (there have also been singles compilations; live releases; and side projects using other names). For a quarter century, listeners have been drawn to the Supersuckers’ visceral deliberation. If someone is seeking something with subtlety, this isn’t it. Diving into the raw mix of the Supersuckers’ punk-enriched rock, pumped-up blues, electric country and fist-flying, Americana music is like colliding headlong with characters from author John Rechy’s seamy fictional urban milieu, or hanging out with seedy denizens from Charles Bukowski’s stories. Get the Hell has been issued in CD and vinyl editions. This review refers to the CD, which has vinyl-like artwork: the front is made to appear like an aged record cover and the CD artwork replicates the grooves of a vinyl LP.
Bassist/vocalist Eddie Spaghetti, guitarists “Metal” Marty Chandler and Dan “Thunder” Bolton, and drummer Christopher “Chango” (or “Captain”) Von Streicher took five years off, and evidently the break intensified their energy levels. The result, the 36-minute-long Get the Hell, is the best thing since their 1990s heyday. It is equal to 1995’s The Sacrilicious Sounds of the Supersuckers or The Smoke of Hell (1992). The guitars are turned up LOUD, the bass and drums never wane, and there are no quiet moments from the maelstrom. The foursome literally bashes and crashes through 12 tunes. After a short intro which mimics the sounds of a riot, the foursome kicks into high gear on the title track, where Spaghetti scream-sings about survival tactics in a world of violence and no escape: the viewpoint is there isn’t room for any heroes and people have “gotta get the hell out of here right now.” Many numbers zero in on Spaghetti’s tales of debauchery, decadence and excess: the blue-collar equivalent of what fills the screen of Martin Scorsese’s newest opus, The Wolf of Wall Street. During the tongue-in-cheek “Gluttonous,” Spaghetti sings about “dirty whores,” having sex with someone’s daughter and mother, and rhetorically quips, “how much is too much?” Spaghetti’s cycle of bad behavior continues on the drug-fueled “High Tonight,” where beer is chased with pain killers to eradicate thoughts of being alone: the actions aren’t seen as an excuse, just the way things are sometimes done. One of the best autobiographical cuts is the cow-punk thumper, “Pushin’ Thru” (which indicates how Mike Ness and his group, Social Distortion, have influenced the Supersuckers). Spaghetti states that “Pushin’ Thru” is “a song about hitting the bottom. I played a solo show in Seattle one night. It was a door deal and after expenses, there was a dollar left for me which the bartender embarrassingly forked over. I went home and wrote this song that night.” The fast-charging arrangement is akin to Johnny Cash fronting punk band X, or Steve Earle jamming with Rev. Horton Heat. Spaghetti twists dark humor into similar rockers, such as the harmonica-laced “Fuck Up” (where he admits how prone he is to creating personal debacles) and the pop-punk piece “Disaster Bastard,” (where Spaghetti professes he’s the “master of disaster” and a king of fiasco moments). The hard-rocker “Bein’ Bad” is another slice of trouble-making self-confession highlighted by Chandler and Bolton’s twinned guitars.
Two unexpected covers are rearranged to mirror the record’s other tough-as-nails material. The Supersuckers contort Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again” into a gnarly number which struts with blaring guitars, and the group closes out with a thrashed rendition of Gary Glitter’s glam-rock hit, “Rock On,” which echoes Glitter’s percussive style but otherwise is warped into a typical Supersuckers’ auditory storm. Get the Hell is obviously no pristine audiophile production, but was suitably mixed by Paul Cafaro (AKA, Blag Dahlia, of punk unit the Dwarves), and engineered by Austin’s Steve Chadie (Willie Nelson, Los Lonely Boys, Edwin McCain), to provide a fitting sonic flurry which emphasizes the Supersuckers’ rough musical stance.
TrackList: Intro; Get the Hell; Something about You; Fuck Up; High Tonight; Pushin’ Thru; Never Let Me Down Again; Gluttonous; Disaster Bastard; Bein’ Bad; That’s What You Get for Thinkin’; Shut Your Face; Rock On.