Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous: I suspect I may have settled on my summertime roll-down-the-windows soundtrack. Unfortunately, it's a potty-mouthed bit of rock 'n' roll excess I can't play at home. Nor would I entertain any thoughts of rolling down the windows and singing along to it as I cruise through town. I guess it qualifies as my first roll-up-the-windows soundtrack. There is no way I can discuss this group or record without resorting to the language they use, so here goes: I'm talking about Motherfuckers Be Trippin', by the Supersuckers.
I am a woefully late addition to the bleary-eyed and buzzing-eardrummed crowd of Supersuckers fans. I stumbled across their kick-ass sound by perusing volume three of Little Stevens' Coolest Songs In The World. Steven's idea of what makes for good rock 'n' roll listening adheres pretty closely to my own -- a varied combination of adolescent sensibilities that channel the Beats, Howard The Duck and Conan the Barbarian -- and I make a point of tuning in to him whenever I can. In the same vein, the Supersuckers identify what thrills them most in a rock 'n' roll record, isolate it and turn it up to eleven -- but no higher. A song like "Pretty Fucked Up" ("She used to be pretty / But now she's just ... ") hits the right notes by infusing just a soupçon of genuine shame and regret to what is at base a puerile stomp. "Bubblegum And Beer" pretty much describes the Supersuckers' ideal listener, as well as their sound. There's no shaking the influence of the Ramones, Link Wray or the stadium-sized ambition of Aerosmith Rocks or Hank Williams' inerrant, stomach-churning sense of why people drink.
These guys are the last and best of the GenX rock 'n' rollers. Listening to this record doesn't return me to my adolescence so much as it brings me back to 1994, when I was on the verge of turning 30. Quentin Tarantino was pulling us into the theaters much the same way George Lucas had 17 years earlier. Kurt Cobain and rock 'n' roll radio were still alive, if only for a few months longer. I caught Jason & The Scorchers on their final blast through the international pub scene, and when I shook hands with the band it seemed we were all encompassed by a neon-hazy twilight where a guy had to learn how to let go of regrets and take on responsibilities, even if what the crowd really wanted was another encore.
Nope. "Before you start screamin' for more / Don't let your butt get hit by that door / 'Cos there ain't gonna be no encore / Goodbye!!"
Could be. But that guitar solo is so juicy and the night ain't quite over yet. In fact it may be a hot, sunny day but if you see me driving through town with my windows rolled up, you'll know where I really am.