The Supersuckers Get Evil at The RadioRoom With The Hangmen
20 years on, The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll remain a formidable force, especially in the hands of The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in The World: The Supersuckers!
Eddie Spaghetti is as close as America will get to having a Lemmy Kilmister. Put aside Eddie’s penchant for performing in aviator sunglasses, cowboy hats, and with a bass guitar. Put aside the great songwriting and the evolution of each of their band’s sounds-Lemmy’s from metal to hard rock and Eddie’s from punk/alternative to hard rock. Finally, put aside that each are considered-popularly by many in Lemmy’s case and by Eddie himself (with a bit of ironic snark) and his fans in The Supersuckers’ case-as the greatest bands in rock n’ roll. What puts Eddie Spaghetti and The Supersuckers on a plane of parity with Lemmy Kilmister and Motorhead, far more importantly that their superficial similarities, is The Supersuckers’ longevity, tenacity, and flat out rocking live performances.
The Supersuckers’ journey to their self professed position as “the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world” has taken some pretty interesting, and serious, twists and turns along the way. Starting in Seattle as part of the pre-Nirvana Seattle Sound scene (check their performance of “I Say F***”” in the legendary film HYPE!), then moving to Tucson, AZ and taking an authentic detour into country music, and finally arriving at the 20th Anniversary of perhaps their best album The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll, The Supersuckers remained one of the most consistently hard rocking and recording bands of their generation. At this point, they have now outlived several of their Seattle and non-Seattle based grunge era peers. Not only have Eddie and his band outlived several of their peers-both metaphorically and actually in a few sad cases-Eddie himself outlived a very serious cancer diagnosis.
“I kicked cancer’s ass! I can do anything!” declared Eddie in a 2016 interview with Louder. Eddie battled stage 3 throat cancer, and, obviously, won. No one can really know or say how much Eddie’s brush with mortality affected his outlook on life or his motivation to keep making and playing music, but one thing is for sure-it has made the 20th anniversary of The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll even more meaningful to Supersucker fans.
“We recorded this album over 20 years ago. Back in the 1900s! It was released at a time when we were supposed to be ‘over.’ And here we are getting ready to play this whole album for all of you,” announced Eddie-to a riotous response from the crowd at The RadioRoom in Greenville, SC just before the band launched into the album’s title track “The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll.” A little over 40 minutes later, The Supersuckers concluded a complete performance of the album with a rocking rendition of the album’s closing track “Hot Like The Sun,” immediately after which Eddie asked the crowd for requests. Shouts for “Doublewide” won the band’s attention. It wasn’t the only non The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll track the band played though. They opened with four consecutive tracks off of their 2018 album Suck It, and even dropped a brand new track, described as “new rock and roll,’ that Eddie declared to be off of their “new rock and roll album” that “we just recorded.”
One of the first four songs The Supersuckers played, titled “The History of Rock and Roll,” name drops several rock bands that Eddie loves, one of which was The Hangmen, who just happened (not surprisingly) to be The Supersuckers’ opening band and tourmates. The LA based band rarely makes it out to the East Coast, so it was an extra special event. Their loud, American Southwest classic/punk rock fusion sound complimented The Supersuckers’ own Southwest influenced sound perfectly. It’s easy to see why they are one of Eddie Spaghetti’s favorite bands. Like The Supersuckers, and most of their 90s peers, The Hangmen thrive on a stripped down, yet intricate and perfectly executed, garage rock sound that so many bands played so well and elevated to the pinnacle of popular rock music almost 3 decades ago. Both The Supersuckers and The Hangmen are masters of getting the most out a simple arrangement of bass, guitar, and drums. It’s easy to forget how refreshing and powerful, especially to those of my generation, that sound is.
I suspect that Eddie Spaghetti would cringe, and probably is right now if he’s reading this, at my comparison of him to Lemmy that opened this review of their live show. For all his tongue-in-cheek pontificating about The Supersuckers being the “greatest band in rock and roll,” that’s just what it is… tongue-in-cheek fun. Honestly though, The Supersuckers really are one of the greatest bands in rock and roll. For so many of the bands, and personalities, that came of age in the 90s, irony was-and still is-a defining characteristic. For anyone who’s listened closely to The Supersuckers music over the years, this is no revelation. Underneath all the irony though, is a group of rockers who take their music, and their fans, seriously, and still put on a hell of a show three decades on. How awesome would it be if Eddie and the band keep it up for another few decades at least? Based on the energy and love they display for what they are still doing-writing and playing great rock music-it seems more likely than not that they just might do so.