Friday, 18 May 2007

SUPERGRASS - Road to Rouen (2005)

Supergrass is one of those bands that remind you The Beatles were the biggest in musical history and also that you don’t need to miss them too much, because there are a lot of new bands always recording beatlesish songs. Of course, the Fab Four is not the only influence of Supergrass.

The funny, energetic rockabilly mixed with Mersey Beats sounds of the Supergrass give us a good number of powerful songs, like “Alright”, “Pumping on your Stereo”, “Moving”, and “Grace” but on this LP, the band remembered their influences also recorded melancholic songs.

Road to Rouen is a short LP, just eight songs and a little instrumental tune, where they try to show themselves in a more sophisticated way than the most. The opening track has the 'progressive rock' title of “Tales of Endurance (Parts 4,5 & 6)” with a musical progression where you notice 'different parts' and ad hoc lyrics: “We hail commercial suicide / Kiss the love you leave behind / And let it bother you / Well you do what it takes to get what you can”.

The song “Roxy” is six minutes, unusually long for the Supergrass catalogue, with lyrics dedicated to the dead mother of the Coombes Brothers. It has a big ending very much inspired by the song “I’m the Walrus”, too inspired you may find.

The McCartney style appears on the second and quieter track called “St. Petersburg” (one of the highlights), with more accuracy than can be remembered on the LP Ram (and with more precision than the song “Dear Friend”). By the way, Supergrass has the same influences as Oasis and Gaz tries to sing like Liam on this song and on the next, called “Sad Girl”. This song has a middle section that reminds you of the single “Around The World” from the Oasis LP Be Here Now (but both remind you of the Magical Mystery Tour and Their Satanic Majesties Request by The Rolling Stones).

But the other tracks are reminiscent of The Kinks, The Who, and Rolling Stones, but not in a bad sense. Road To Rouen is a big LP for as short as it is, with very sentimental lyrics and a couple of kick rock songs like “Kick in The Teeth”.

Maybe Supergrass doesn’t want to be just a funny band or maybe Gaz is now a mature man looking over his shoulder at the past. Maybe Gaz saved the most mature tracks for the end, like mid-tempo song “Low C”: “We were younger / Oh the way you turned my head, ooooh / I wonder if I'd care / If I saw you again / Would you hurt me like before /Or would happiness be there” and the song “Fin” (Spanish word for “End”) a beautiful slow track, recorded with a drum machine, that asks you: “Hey, the song, do you feel / Leave your light on through the night”.

Published on 16-05-2007

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