The Press Article
I Should Coco
Not everyone wants to die. Contrary to almost everything you're hearing and reading, the most important music being made here right now is bucking the suicide/self-mutilation trend. Wishful thinking? The 'Elastica' album went to Number One on a speed ball of swagger and cheap thrills, Oasis have carelessly conquered the singles charts and those cheeky chaps from Blur have delayed the release of their new single because 'Parklife' still has legs worldwide.
Wake up, it's a beautiful morning. And right on time, here come Supergrass. 'I Should Coco' is like bathing in the sunlight. Like the last day of school. Like the first spliff that works. Hang-ups? This lot don't hang about long enough to cultivate traumas. They're too busy breezing into the bright new world of things undiscovered with melodies still warm.
'I Should Coco' sprints at us through a hazy glow that says, "Uh, it's a laff init". Even 'Caught By The Fuzz' - a nerve-jangling song about what a drag it is to get busted for blow at 15 - is so het up on adrenalin that the panic is rendered triumphant. Gaz got caught, got bollocked, got let off to toke another day. Heheheh.
What adolescent angst there is on 'I Should Coco' is transformed into energy by Supergrass' sheer zest for the crack. "Got some cash/Bought some wheels/Took it out/To some fields/Lost control/In a roll/But we're alright." This is the purity of youth untrammeled by worry. This band - and they truly are a band with all the mythic interaction that entails - are living inside the unburstable bubble of their own adventure.
Much has been made of how young the band are - Gaz is still in his teens - and, although this is dangerous (withness poor Roddy Frame, doomed forever to be famed as a prodigy), it is important. Supergrass are genuinely the first post-dance-boom guitar band. All the others - Blur, Oasis etc - were into their music before rave came along. But Supergrass were getting ink down their shirts at the back of the class while all the warehouse bollocks was taking off. They have chosen their path from other record collections and they have chosen wisely. Instinctively drawn to the dynamics of The Who ('Lenny' sounds like the young Townsend wrestling with Moon) the melodies of The Beatles ('Sofa (Of My Lethargy)' echos 'Norwegian Wood' and 'Time' strides arrogantly forth on a great Lennon riff) and the jeez-they-must-be-brothers look of The Small Faces, Supergrass are embracing the past like experience.
The way the grinning choruses of 'Lose It' and 'She's So Loose' scramble out of the punky rush, the way 'Mansize Rooster' plays tag with Madness and Bowie, the way 'We're Not Supposed To' comes strumming at us at - literally - 78rpm in a weird helium homage to Syd Barrett are all the hallmarks of a band totally in love with music. And the way in which their influences aren't just cobbled together but assimilated and made their own, suggests that listening to 'Revolver' or 'Hunky Dory' or 'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' played as much a part in building their formative characters as that first shag or that first fag.
In that sense, 'I Should Coco' is a beautifully honest album of, and about, its time. This is their generation - wide (sometimes wild)-eyed, determined not to let anybody else's bastard moral standards grind them down. They look at the adult world - the one that their talent is about to take to the cleaners - and they giggle.
It's all so easy. The sight of the trio, draped around one another, handsomely drunk on the back of the album, calls to the mind the Jagger of the early '60s, a cocky lout being feted by politicians and members of high society, people who had invested a lifetime of greasing the right palms to get where they were. Jagger wore a tittering smirk during those days. Like a kid shoplifting in Hamleys. Piece of piss.
Supergrass are like that. They've got it all and they know it. Nothing can touch them. They play with the skill and assurance of a band who've been going for decades yet they still burn off the buzz of being new to the game. They've seen what can happen when things go down - with The Jennifers already behind them, they've been buried and bounced back - so they're in an exhilarating state: they have control and they know when to lose it.
All of this appears to come as naturally to Supergrass as falling over. There's nothing contrived about 'I Should Coco', nothing added for effect. This is genuinely a record that looks at the world and rules by which it's run and giggles in stoned incomprehension. 'Sitting Up Straight' is a song about being told to sit up straight at the back of the bus. Why? 'We're Not Supposed To' is a song about being told you're not supposed to mix with certain other people. Why? Oh f--- it, Supergrass can't be arsed to put up a fight. These people don't live in the same universe as Gaz, don't even speak the same language. They are, as he constantly tells us throughout the album, "strange".
And in the time-honoured tradition of all great bands Supergrass have written their own creed, their own anthem. 'Alright' is their '...Satisfaction', their 'My Generation', their 'Lazy Sunday'. From the instant it jumpstarts on pounding piano, it's good-to-be-alive rollercoaster ride through making no big deal about sleeping around, rolling motors and generally living it up. When Gaz doubles up the cheesy guitars unafraid to rock down the Hank Marvin route in reverence, surely, to Cliff's 'Young' Ones' and 'Summer Holiday', it's like that geography teacher telling you to wipe that silly grin off your face. The more he tells you, the more you smile. The ultimate f--- you. Better by far than twatting him. He hasn't even reached you. He doesn't compute. You've weirded him out.
That moment is Supergrass. These freaks shall inherit the earth. (9)
NME - 13 May 1995