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5 albums, 11 years in & the grass are young and free no more
on 1 September 2005
It had to happen sometime. Right from the moment their era-defining debut broke loose in '95, it was crystal clear these boys had soaked up the influences of many a heavy duty rock 'name' of the '60's and '70's. Latter day Beatles; Deep Purple; Zeppelin; Hendrix, they can always be traced somewhere in the Supergrass sound. And every one of those acts, at some stage, pulled out the benchmark calling card of the 'serious, everything thrown in but the kitchen sink, difficult concept album'. Why, these bands invented the genre! Supergrass were always going to have one up their sleeve at some point!
Still for ten years they stuck to what, it now seems, they do best; making perfect three minute Britpop singles. Until this, in which the loose concept seems to be that the band have grown up, and well, got serious. The problem here, apart from the brevity (somehow I expected another half hour!) is simple. You see, for all the zithers, brass sections, ukuleles and overall psychedelic folksiness; for all the aching beauty of 'St. Petersburg', 'Coffee In The Pot's' comical instrumental bounce and the maelstrom of sound that brings 'Roxy's' coda to a close; Supergrass just haven't written enough stunning songs to make this the memorable, new direction album they wanted it to be. There's a great EP here at best, a brilliant singles band they remain.