Sometimes, a band (say, Supergrass) just has a great run. They top charts (U.K. Singles Chart), they tour (Glastonbury Music Festival), make fun music videos (UK Music Video Award winning) and great albums (try I Should Coco), get their songs featured in movies (Clueless, Hot Fuzz, etc.), they generate a following, and then they just stop. They disband due to musical and creative differences and leave fans hanging. Which leaves FDRMX no choice but to review Supergrass’s 1995 album I Should Coco track-by-track.
1. “I’d Like To Know” Let the punk rock commence! After the classic punk rock count in, “1, 2 – 1, 2, 3, 4!” the song rushes straight through to the end so fast and tight it’s amazing the bass and drums don’t trip over each other. Complete with surf rock guitar riffs, clever little “Lala lalalas” at the end of almost every line, a retro squealing organ slides.
2. “Caught By The Fuzz” For those of you ignoramuses across the pond who don’t know what “The Fuzz” is, just listen to the young man’s lyrics, or watch Simon Pegg’s hilarious comedy film “Hot Fuzz” which features this Supergrass tune.
3. “Mansize Rooster” Lead by piano (which will leave Rob’s fingers will be in knots by the end of this track), the track is another speedy-gonzales song, with distinctive hits on 1, 2, 3, 4, that let you catch your breath. Danny drums absurdly fast, Mick’s basslines are impossible and Gaz’s vocals and guitar leave you almost dizzy. Andale andale!
4. “Alright” is the hit single off of the album, topped U.K. charts and prompted Spielberg to approach the band about doing a Monkees-ish TV show (which they declined). Though still uptempo, the pace and lyrics beg to sung along with, “But we are young / we run green / keep our teeth nice and clean / See our friends / see the sights / feel alright!” over the pop bass line and drums makes you want to dance. Gaz also provides a tone bending surf guitar solo to complete the tune.
5. “Lose It” is a grungier punk rock track, with distorted guitar and rollicking drums and throbbing bass. Gaz is howling, “Don’t lose it” makes the otherwise straight forward song fun.
6. “Lenny” brings to mind a harder, punkier Led Zeppelin, not just in style but also in the arrangement. The guitar riff sticks like glue, and the drums (plus congos) are insane, as they tend to be when it’s Supergrass.
7. “Strange Ones” starts out with eerie sounds and a creepy Grandma vocal crying out, “Where are you?!” Strange indeed. You can even hear something played backward, ala The Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Between verses, the drums, bass and guitar break it down into a strolling rhythm that leads towards a folky solo acoustic guitar.
8. “Sitting Up Straight” opens with a lovely acoustic piano intro, which is soon overtaken by manic rhythm guitar and Gaz’s lyrics spitting forth. The subject of the song: sitting on a bus. Imagine that. “Sitting up straight on the back of a bus / Mimicking time as evening turns to dusk / Well, look at the boy with his face to the floor / Have a little smoke to pass the time of the day.” We’ve all been there.
9. “She’s So Loose” Though by no means slow, this is indeed one of the slowest songs on I Should Coco. The rhythm is a catchy one, with a killer guitar solo about two-thirds of the way through. The track stands out on the album because of its serious subject and unique style (the girl is loose, I mean, that’s just unfortunate for the young man singing).
10. “We’re Not Supposed To” If Gaz were an animated chipmunk sipping on helium, then he would sound like the vocals on this song, which of course makes it a favorite of children and stoners to sing along to, especially with the piggy snorts at the end.
11. “Time” is Supergrass’s token blues rock song on this album. Harmonica and distorted Hammond organ with a classic blues drum beat and a fuzzy guitar make this a repeat listen tune. By no means actually blue, Gaz’s lyrics are happy. “Yeah I know what I, I see / Have it all you / Yeah I know what I, I see / Have it all!”
12. “Sofa (Of My Lethargy)” harkens back to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band days. Psychedelic and spacey, with acid-y solos from both organ and guitar, this song takes you on a journey, pondering rather intriguing things like, “Hold on now, all I want to do is see you / But everybody’s here just sitting ’round staring at the ceiling / What you gonna find in your mixed up minds when you’re dreaming? Could be we’re not like you at all,” before laying you softly back down.
13. “Time To Go” This farewell song recalls Sgt. Pepper’s “Reprise” by sweetly closing out the album “Who Could Ask for More?” Gaz sings. Fans of Supergrass certainly wish they’d regroup and give it another go. C’mon gents, the world needs more rock.