Supagroup

Supagroup. The name is cheeky and audacious -- do they really mean that? In this postmodern age, when one can easily wonder if any band can truly be said to rock, does Supagroup really want us to have, ahem, "Blind Faith" that they are, in fact, a group of epic proportions? And do they really want us to pronounce their name with a cheesy British accent?

In short, yes they do. Supagroup twists and flips the clichés of down-'n-dirty cawk rawk into a rowdy rave-up that takes you back to the arenas of the 1970s, and even if this Alaskan-born, New Orleans-based quartet pokes a little fun at the conventions and pretensions of their forebears, they also celebrate them.

Spiritually, they're the bastard spawns of AC/DC and the band the Rolling Stones used to be decades ago. The chords blast like a dirty bomb, and the grooves swing like a groupie's tight-jeans-encased butt as she sashays toward the backstage door. As one album announced in its title, Rock and Roll Tried to Ruin My Life, so Supagroup is determined to ruin yours. Or rather, corrupt and disturb it in all the ways you've desired for far too long now.

Yeah, the inspirations are obvious, like a mash tape made from all the harder classic-rock radio signals that have been bouncing around the stratosphere for a quarter-century or so. And sure, they've got some bulging bollocks to declare themselves "Back By Popular Demand."

But even if Supagroup has printed up the worldwide tour concert T-shirt before they've conquered the planet, it's okay. Real rock has always declared itself atop the heap even as it climbed the mountain, and Supagroup has not just the nads but the knack, feel and delinquent intentions that signal real rock at its bad best. So flick that Bic and lift it in the air. Rock is dead, they say? Long live rock.

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Rob Patterson