SUPERSUCKERS DISCOG JUKEBOX: Motherfuckers Be Trippin’ (2003)

Motherfuckers Be Trippin’ is the sixth studio album by the American rock and roll band Supersuckers. It was released on April 22, 2003, on the band’s own label, Mid-Fi Recordings. The album’s title comes from the name jokingly announced by the New Bomb Turks as the title of their upcoming album while on tour with Supersuckers. When the Supersuckers went into the studio to record their next album, they put it down as a working title as an inside joke.

Track listing
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Records (Ain’t Selling This Year)” – 2:25
“Rock Your Ass” – 2:39
“Pretty Fucked Up” – 2:52
“The Fight Song” – 3:40
“Bruises To Prove It” – 3:26
“Bubblegum And Beer” – 3:18
“Sleepy Vampire” – 3:36
“A Good Night For My Drinkin'” – 2:34
“Damn My Soul” – 2:28
“Someday I Will Kill You” – 2:35
“The Nowhere Special” – 2:43
“Goodbye” – 14:08

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You know that rule of comedy that dictates that something that may not be funny initially becomes increasingly hilarious upon excessive repetition? It’s the backbone of every Saturday Night Live catchphrase, and it’s the Austin, Texas-based Supersuckers’ new method of creating liner notes. After 10 years of unabashed supercharged alt-country-slash-rock-‘n’-roll, the ‘Suckers have taken that rule to its most vulgar conclusion: Their new album, Motherfuckers Be Trippin’ features liner notes that contain 78 instances of the word “motherfuckin’” (and variations thereof). By the time the liner notes end with a shout out to “all the little motherfuckers that make motherfucking so motherfuckin’ great”, it’s obvious that this is the album layout that band has been working toward their whole career, and you’re either with the Supersuckers or against them. (Bonus points to the band for using “motherfuck” as a noun, verb, and adjective in the above sentence.)

While it’s hard to say whether the Supersuckers are the kind of band who throws “motherfucker” around with reckless abandon or just a parody of those bands, either way, they’ve got a wicked sense of humor and have no time for those who take their rock too seriously. They’ve even got non-vulgar jokes. They helpfully note on the album cover “Parental Advisory: Explicit Title”. Well, no shit, guys. And their record label’s motto is, “It’s not hi-fi, it’s not low-fi, it’s Mid-Fi and it’s pretty good.” That also doubles as an apt description of the band, who just wants to have fun rocking your socks off.

The Supersuckers (lead singer/bassist Eddie Spaghetti, guitarist Dan “Thunder” Bolton, guitarist Rontrose Heathman, and drummer Dancing Eagle) have positioned themselves as the unlikely love child of insane pop metaller Andrew W.K. and alt-country bar band mainstays the Bottlerockets on Motherfuckers Be Trippin’. While some may fail to see the humor in their rampant use of “motherfuckin’”, there’s no denying the appeal in their latest batch of songs. (Finally, we get to the music.) “Rock-n-Roll Records (Ain’t Sellin’ This Year)” opens with a huge motherfuckin’ (sorry) guitar riff and rocks non-stop from there. Guitarists Bolton and Heathman never met a power chord they didn’t like, a point they prove time and again on each of Motherfuckers Be Trippin’‘s tracks. Selling records isn’t the Supersuckers top priority—honoring the rock is job one. “Rock Your Ass” does exactly that, too, melding the most fun elements of rock—handclaps, big guitars, and commands to party (“Grab a drink and chug-a-lug / Have some sex / And take some drugs”, demands Spaghetti)—into what amounts to the album’s manifesto. Is there a band out there that has less use for subtlety that the Supersuckers?

After the album’s two opening gems, there’s nowhere to go but down, and Spaghetti and Co. seem to acknowledge this on “Pretty Fucked Up”, their take on the ‘80s power ballad (“She used to be pretty / But now she’s just pretty fucked up”). This song also shines on a light on the shortcomings in Spaghetti’s raspy voice when he isn’t singing about drinking, rocking, or otherwise carousing.

Fortunately, those moments are few and far between, as the band dives back into their element on the middle third of the album. “The Fight Song” could be a lost kid brother to AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. Bolton’s and Heathman’s guitars battle each other across the speakers, and it’s an early contender for Song Most Likely to Be Playing If You Get a Black Eye This Year. Meanwhile, “Bruises to Prove It” posits battle scars are a badge of honor, and the opposites-attract “Bubblegum and Beer” veers close to pop territory.

If the front half of Motherfuckers Be Trippin’ is all about fighting and good times, side-B is soaked in cheap booze and regret. “Sleepy Vampire” opens with a dusty guitar intro that marks the band’s closest alt-country approximation (Spaghetti Western? jokes a rock critic for the millionth time . . .), and it’s also the only time the band stops to catch their collective breath—musically and lyrically. It’s back to the blistering pace for “A Good Night for Drinkin’” and “Damn My Soul”, with the former notable as the only track that views booze as a bad thing: “The thing that kills won’t let you die”. Who could have guessed a man named Eddie Spaghetti was capable of such introspection? Introspection is not their forte—as if that hasn’t been made abundantly clear to this point—but only once does the band’s over-the-top sense of humor fail them: “Someday I Will Kill You”. Drunken boastin’ and brawlin’ is good-natured; but murder? Not so much. As if it weren’t enough, “Someday I Will Kill You” is their most embarrassing ‘80s hair metal track. Memo to Spaghetti: Stick to the bumfights and the high octane roots-rock riffs.

Intentional or not, Motherfuckers Be Trippin’‘s greatest contribution may be that it dissolves the line between cock rock homage and parody. Thanks to the Supersuckers, listeners can now enjoy both simultaneously. Can any band start nearly every guitar solo with a shout of “Let’s go!” and brag about their fists’ and livers’ abilities with a straight face and not have an arched eyebrow? If you can find this album (perhaps no small feat), it’s worth a listen to see what the answer is. – Stephen Haag for popmatters.com

Rock’n’Roll Records (Ain’t Selling This Year) by SUPERSUCKERS

 

No band sings songs about drinking, women, sex and rock & roll better than Seattle’s Supersuckers. They’ve been doing it for over a decade, forming in 1990, and are getting better with each release. Motherfuckers Be Trippin’, stellar and tight from start to finish, proves they’re among the last holdouts of bands dedicated to making good solid true rock & roll.
It was a coin toss that led the band from Tuscon, Ariz. to Seattle before the grunge years began, and instead of jumping on some bandwagon that didn’t fit their imprint they decided to just screw it all and have fun. The Supersuckers have the rare talent of blending two seemingly disparate genres of music — hard rock and country — so well it seems the marriage should have happened long ago in some back woods rock & roll Kentucky ceremony. In 2001, having decided to take control of their own destiny and become what they refer to as a lean, mean, self-managed, totally independent rock & roll machine, they started Mid-Fi Recordings, giving them the freedom to release the music they wanted without worries of corporate marketing and demographics.
Motherfuckers, the band’s second release on Mid-Fi, starts hard and doesn’t let up. It held me by the back of my neck, rocked my pants off and dropped me on the floor drenched in sweat with a huge smile, delirious and exhausted yet happy. While most songs are odes to typical Supersucker themes — drinking, fighting and women – the band sometimes lashes out at the fickle music industry. Lead singer Eddie Spaghetti and bandmates sing and perform these songs with anger and passion, probably forged from experience in the business.
The opening song, a blistering commentary on the state of the industry, “Rock-n-Roll Records (Ain’t Selling This Year),” he spits with venom, “I just get jeers/ For my blood sweat and tears/ Cuz rock & roll records ain’t selling this year.” But the band fights back, “But at the end of the day/ I’m just gonna do it my way/ Cuz I have to have something good and fun to play.” This spirit is why people love the Supersuckers; they may be down but never count them out.
The DIY spirit of “Rock-n-Roll Records” is prevalent throughout the album, especially on “A Goodnight For My Drinkin,'” “Damn My Soul,” and “The Nowhere Special.” And so is the band’s distaste for the industry. “From the Arizona heat and the wrong side of street/Through the smoke and all the beers/ I’ve been doing it for years/And I think its understood/I wouldn’t stop it if I could/Watch out here I come,/ he sings on “Rock Your Ass.” Fans, fear not. In true Supersuckers fashion, Motherfuckers includes plenty of songs about women, drinking and partying.
Each song on Motherfuckers Be Trippin’, which is far superior to any earlier recordings, is a fist-pumping anthem to rock & roll. The band’s goal has always been to create and perform timeless, quality music and get as many people as possible to hear it in pursuit of that perfectly imperfect moment. And they have finally achieved it. – reviewed by prefix.com

A Good Night for my Drinkin’ by SUPERSUCKERS

 

Basically, one Supersuckers review would’ve done. As long as it said that the band kicks out the jams like few other bands, regularly fabricates the best synergy of AC/DC’s primal power, Motörhead’s vicious attack, and traditional Country’s preference for everyday themes (broken hearts and empty bottles), all of which is delivered with a fuck-‘em-all attitude that’s uh, refreshing.

An endless series of song descriptions was unnecessary, because there’s only so many ways of making a hamburger – as long as there’s meat, a bun, and some ketchup, the customer will be satisfied. Still, it’s always fun when you can pin down another reference …

I’d never really understood why critics compare this band to Cheap Trick (yeah, they have hooks, so what?) or Thin Lizzy (a twin guitar attack? Yeah, so?), but on this album it does make sense, as I can imagine Rick Nielsen & Co. tearing through “The Nowhere Special”, while Phil Lynott would’ve been proud of several of the melodies here.

Anyway, the Motörsuckers deliver another pleasing romp through Macholand, one you’ll dig if you’re convinced they’re the best barband of the past decade or so.

Opening track “Rock-n-Roll Records” belongs in the pantheon of their best songs, as it’s a hard-rocking and hilarious perception of the state of the contemporary music business, a business more concerned with image and media appeal than scorching riffs and fist-pumping anthems from a few sleazebags.

The remainder of the first half rarely reaches that same level. “Rock Your Ass” and “Bruises to Prove It” are big anthems that deliver what’s expected but nothing more. The catchy “Pretty Fucked Up” would’ve been a modern Rock classic if it weren’t so dang repetitive, and the hooligan chant “The Fight Song” is … well, a bit too stupid for its own good.

BUT: That’s all made up for by the excellent second half, which starts with one of the best songs the band ever did. “Sleepy Vampire” is an irresistible minor-chord rocker that’ll find a way to the back of your head then won’t get out for the next few weeks. Furthermore, “A Good Night for My Drinkin’” has a kick-ass vocal melody and an unlikely Cypress Hill reference (I think), while “Damn My Soul” is a lethally-charged bulldozer of a song.

“The Nowhere Special” is excellent sing-along punk, “Someday I Will Kill You” an energy bomb Lemmy would approve of, and the fast & furious “Goodbye” a hilarious way to exit.

The Supersuckers still don’t take themselves seriously and you shouldn’t either -check out the ‘Parental Advisory: Explicit Title’ warning on the cover (and the liner notes crack me up) – but as far as good-natured rock‘n’roll goes, the band will never let you down. God bless The Supersuckers for that.  Guy Peters for alltime-records.com

GOODBYE by SUPERSUCKERS

 

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