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Supergrass – Road to Rouen

Supergrass was among the pack of blokes that could have been considered a second British invasion in the early and mid ‘90s, along with Blur, The Charlatans, Inspiral Carpets, The Happy Mondays, and so on. Right from the start Supergrass had a no-nonsense approach to making music, having gotten together more for fun from the humble flat on Crowly Road in Oxford where they all lived. In 1995 they debuted with I Should Coco and were wholeheartedly embraced by the college radio fans, which also devoured their 1997 release, In It For The Money.

Now on their six album with Road to Rouen, Supergrass proves that their music and the men behind it can mature while still keeping their fans pleased as punch, humored, and surprised by what comes out of the Supergrass heads.


One of my favorite tracks “Coffee in the Pot” could have been easily included in the Triplettes de Belleville soundtrack, bouncing with a café kitchen jingle that’s meant for a kicking up a sleepy Sunday morning.

This little surprise of an interlude like that is not shocking, since Supergrass is known to veer off onto an unknown cobblestone path. Prior to the release of Road to Rouen they took off on an acoustic tour around the smaller clubs in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and other towns with nothing more than a homemade drum kit and their guitars. This enabled them to not only “road test” their new songs but to present to their fans another side of the musical repartee in a more theatrical setting.

Even the video to “St. Petersburg” seems like they’ve traveled forward in time from 1934. Donned in a white suite and red hat lead singer Gaz Coombs strums with gentle elegance and the song floats along with fine piano accompaniment from his brother Rob as he sings, “Three days I’ll be outta hear / And not a day too soon,” as if he’s just been scorned by his lady love.

But they have not retired their Brit rock roots in the least, as the title track chunks along with tambourine chinks, laser rays of a ‘70s rock riffs pop in and out, and street samples of sirens sway in the background. But it’s the “Kick In The Teeth” that really brings round images of Kings Road, London fog, and crumpets and tea in such a glorious way.


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