Motherfuckers Be Trippin'
You can still use their dicks for a walking stick. . . .
It's safe to say the Supersuckers have met the most important standard (and survival tool) set by their hard-rock forebears AC/DC and Motörhead: consistency. Sure, AC/DC only ever wrote one song, but it's a fucking great song. And it's now the same sort of tradition with the Supersuckers. Air-guitar worthy, wah-drenched lead ax work? Check. "Goddamn, I love drinking!" songs? Check. Love songs that don't make you feel like a pansy? Check. Songs with "rock" in the title? Checktwo times. Fans of the band should be aware of their twin personae by now: punk-inflected rock (reveling in all the best hard-rock clichés) and drunk, authentic, Waylon-and-Willie-flavored country. Motherfuckers Be Trippin' falls completely within the first camp, although some of the country stylings of '70s Southern rock dinosaurs bleed through now and again. And while the band may have learned their rock lessons well, the past 25 years of hard music, specifically punk, haven't escaped them, either. The "hit" of the album has to be the never-gonna-get-radio-play-with-this-title gem "Pretty Fucked Up." So Motherfuckers Be Trippin' isn't testing any boundaries, but who cares? It still brings the rock, and sometimes that's all you want. REX REASON
Supersuckers play EMP Sky Church at 9 p.m. Fri., April 25 with the Ones and Agent Orange. $12/$10 members.
(In the Red)
File under: If it's not broke, don't fix it.
Does anyone know where the hell Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is? I'm going to guess and say it's equidistant to Detroit, Mich., and Memphis, Tenn. In fact, the more I listen to the Horrors' dirty South scuzz, the more positive I am about that. How else to explain the equal parts country, blues, and rock equation that alternately shakes the hinges off the garage door and attempts to lull your sweet, drunk ass into a quiet sway? Smartly chosen leadoff track "Swoop Down" pinpoints what the three-piece setup is all about, as the song lets you know right away what you're in for. Like a precursor to a barroom brawl, "Swoop Down" is a finger-pointing, swaggering stomper whereby frontman Paul Cary asks his lady friend why the fuck she waited so long to tell him that she's got another man. On its heels, "Sooner or Later" skips most of the conversation and growls with guitar solos and train-track boogie. Elsewhere, "Briar Patch" offers an acoustic hillbilly CCR-style scooch, while "Hope's Blues" is five minutes of a lonesome holler. If you're a fan of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Oblivians, the Gories, the Von Bondies, or the Cramps, you've heard this kind of thing beforeand something tells me the Horrors would be the first to admit it. Because Cary's long-winded lyrics tend to center on a story and not just some stupid hook about a fast car or a moonshine jar, the Horrors probably deserve better than to be cast alongside the bulk of regurgitating "rockers" coasting by on pawnshop Silvertones and tattoo-parlor bills. LAURA CASSIDY
Songs from the South as played in the West.
Observations from a wheelchair: Swans circle on the "surface of a sewer pond," emotion drains like the "contents of a cooler," and horse traders come with "beads and cheese and horses." Twenty years ago, an auto accident left Vic Chesnutt partially paralyzed, though purely physically, as the tragedy opened his mind to the works of Walt Whitman, Steven Crane, and Emily Dickinson. Eleven albums laterthis one recorded in the living room of a house in trendy L.A. hood Silver Lakethe Athens, Ga., resident is among pop music's most gifted and cherished lyricists, interpreting his existence with short stories and poems that are piercing and witty, yet profoundly personal. "Forget everything I ever told you/I'm sure I lied more than twice," Chesnutt declares in "I'm Through," the opening line of a collection that references marching-band camp, vodka-soaked tampons, the Pyramids of Giza andin the tradition of Chesnutt's profiles of Isadora Duncan, Lucinda Williams, Arthur Murray, and Woodrow Wilson1953 Georgia basketball star Zippy Morocco. Chesnutt's fragile, nearly vulnerable voice can beg for compassion in one moment, then brood with malice the next, as on the politically incorrect "Girls Say," a boy-and-girl-give-and-take with the stinging query, "Why you wanna be a bitch?" That susceptibility and indelible candor are what make Chesnutt so enticing, his potent tales of everyday minutiae told with a folk context and a punk consciousness. SCOTT HOLTER
Vic Chesnutt plays Tractor Tavern at 9 p.m. Sat., April 26 with M Ward. $12.