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Supersuckers | Get It Together | review | rock | Lollipop
Get It Together! (Mid-Fi)
By Scott Deckman
Supersuckers have been accused of many things during their illustrious run as the World's Greatest RockN'Roll Band, but easy-listening ain't one of them. Now, to be fair, there's enough guitar heroics from Rontrose Heathman, seedy references and songcraft here to make Get It Together!, the band's first studio album in five years, a Supersuckers record, but there's also enough balladry, countrified tempos and clean production to make this the mellowest Supersuckers rock effort to date.
But c'mon, you're thinking, guys getting up in age can't be depending on Ron to have the cocaine forever, or for Eddie to be gambling with the complimentary cocktail in hand, screaming someday he'll kill you while the drummer (this time, Scott Churilla, formerly of psychobilly legends The Reverend Horton Heat) pounds the skins like his maximized kill count depends on it. It's just, shit, that's what these guys are known for: Unapologetic narcissism and rock'n'roll excess. There were always two ways you could take the transplanted Tucson band: A great joke stretched to its limits, like a neo-twangy Ramones mixed with equal parts Motorhead and AC/DC, or torchbearers for rock's raison d'être. Like the much-revered Ramones, the truth was always somewhere in the middle, but with the balance skewered heavily toward the latter. And much like their heroes from Queens, the Supersuckers have been scratching out a living, crisscrossing the county for decades, playing to thirsty audiences while spreading the joy, like they state on fourth track "Paid" (the title track from their preceding EP).
While there are some bona fide rockers on here ("What It Takes," "I'm a Fucking Genius"), there's also some very adult-contemporary fare ("She Is Leaving," "Breaking Honey's Heart") and a further backslide into the country mien of Must've Been High. Now, Must've Been High was a very good country record, literally, which underscores Get It Together!'s main problem: An identity crisis. You listen to this record a few times and you come away shaking your head: What is this? Not real bad, not real good. On Get It Together!, the band unintentionally apes their own label, Mid-Fi. Middle of the Road isn't what you expect from one of Seattle's truly great bands. With all the polish, this is the least Supersucker Supersuckers record in their catalogue.
It's ironic that 2008 will be remembered as the year Axl Rose finally graced the world with the much-ballyhooed and even lampooned Chinese Democracy, what some deluded critics hoped would be a 21-year successor to their favorite record of all time, Appetite for Destruction. I may be a bit delusional myself, but an argument can be made that the real follow-up to Appetite wasn't the Use Your Illusion records at all (albums some say are superior to that shibboleth, coincidentally), but 1999's Evil Powers of Rock'n'Roll, which, to me, epitomized everything the Supersuckers are about: Liquor, women, drugs, and killing, for the most part, with down-home panoramic storytelling thrown in for good measure. The ironic part being that in '08, the band that produced the spiritual follow-up to Appetite for Destruction was rarely found on their much-anticipated release of the same year. And, it gets better, as Get It Together! hears Eddie Spaghetti trotting out this line from "Something Good for You": "Well, let's face it, the world is a place for mediocre things and a place for the average to thrive." Ouch. Truth Hurts.
Radio-friendly maturity be damned: I want my band back, Eddie. Smack him around a bit, Bolton, and let's get back to rockin' some serious ass.