The Press Article
Life On Other Planets
With their youthful exuberance alive and well, UK upstart pop-rockers Supergrass have reinvented themselves--or, at the very least, gotten their groove back--on their fourth release. Taking a large step in expanding its lexicon, the group, singer Gaz Coombes in particular, has tightened up its songwriting and come up with tunes that rival the bandís first hit "Caught By The Fuzz." While the debts to rockers past are obvious, Supergrass uses those classic elements and hooks as inspiration rather than imitation. From the first lines of the swaggering pop "Seen The Light," youíll hear echoes of the glam rock days of T. Rex and Mott The Hoople. And, by the time the chorus rolls around, youíll already be declaring the song a classic. On "Brecon Beacons," another irresistible rocker, Coombes conjures the tight phrasing and small town commentary of Ray Davies; the driving "Grace" uses octaved vocals a la Squeeze to good effect; and the closer "Run" tips its hat to the rich harmonies of Ď70s British band Tranquility. Throughout, there are plenty of sundry sound effects (birds chirping, sheep bleating) and sonic textures (treated guitar solos and squishy analog effects). But strip away the sometimes-overdone production and the songs (save for the throw-away "LA Song" and the out-of-place "Never Don Nothing Like That Before") and the performances (listen past Coombes compelling delivery to the skin-tight rhythm section) are strong enough to stand by themselves. The dozen songs clock in at just over 40 minutes--a sensible time in these days of 75-minute releases--which, Iím sure, meant whittling the disc down to its best tracks, a lesson that most other groups would do well to heed.
Mike Lipton, Launch - 03 March 2003