Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Broken Hearts And Fallaparts
Written by: AP on 27/01/2014 20:58:39
Why our webzine lacks articles dissecting the previous two outings by Denmark's premiere rock'n'roll act SuperCharger continues to baffle me, especially as their 2009 debut LP "Handgrenade Blues" remains one of my favourite contemporary albums produced in this country. I cannot remember how many times I've found myself in a headbanging frenzy at one of Copenhagen's rock clubs when the title track or "Join in (and Lose It)" has been aired; and I cannot remember a time when queuing an arbitrary track of theirs hasn't produced in me an uplifting adrenaline rush. Indeed, if listening to SuperCharger cannot fix, or at least offset your daily woes, then chances are your definition of a good time is seriously flawed. On Wednesday, this self-proclaimed gang of rednecks will release their third studio album "Broken Hearts and Fallaparts", and this time, at last, I'm on the dot to share with you, dear readers, my thoughts on it.
As my hyperbolic preamble might have already suggested, SuperCharger are the ultimate party band for fans of hard rock much like Andrew W.K. is to fans of punk rock. Virtually every song showcased on "Broken Hearts and Fallaparts" is a festive, good natured, spectacular rock'n'roll bonanza with the ability to grab you by the tonsils and rattle you into a groove with instant effect. But there is an honesty to the material, too, which counteracts the imminent danger of SuperCharger thus being categorised as merely a shallow entertainment act. Yes, the lyrics may well classify as run-of-the-mill sleaze rock dross à la You never give up, and you never give a fuck / ... / You're like a pitbull, ready to kill / Aiming for the weakness, a part of the thrill, but they're delivered without pretense; with a flair that betrays this band's undying love of rock'n'roll.
There is no resisting the infectious, turbo-charged energy dispensed by opening track "Like a Pitbull", "Supercharged", "Suzi the Uzi" or "Get What You Deserve", each sporting a hellraising chorus; and neither can one deny the allure of the no-frills roots rock of tracks like "Five Hours of Nothing", "Yeah Yeah Yeah" and "The Crash", all of which sound like the contents of a time capsule buried deep in the 50's American heartland, the heyday of big Cadillacs, nostalgic roadside diners, jukeboxes and pin-up girls. And there is no shortage of ideas in these songs: all manner of banjo, harmonica, harp, piano, organ and female vocals are incorporated with a sort of twinkle at the corner of the eye, not only diversifying the soundscape, but also contributing an atmosphere of days gone by that SuperCharger would readily confess to being slaves to.
Indeed, "Broken Hearts and Fallaparts" goes hard, but when in rare occasions the band loosen their pressure on the pedal, the results are equally enticing. Songs like lead single "Blood Red Lips" (which features cameos from Mustasch's Ralf Gyllenhammar and David Johannesson) and "Hung Over in Hamburg", with their twangy guitar melodies, blues ridden solos and punchy rhythms; capture impeccably the dingy atmosphere of the bars and strip joints of Amsterdam and Hamburg; whilst the balladry of concluding piece "Goodbye Copenhagen" exposes a fragility and melancholy seldom heard in the same sentence as the name SuperCharger.
Music need not always be complex or innovative in order to endear, and in this sense "Broken Hearts and Fallaparts" is an almost frighteningly good record. The power and breadth of Mikkel Neperus' singing, not to mention his knack for delivering a fantastic chorus in virtually every song; the soul and drive of Thomas Buchwald & Dennis Samaras' riffs, melodies and solos; and the funky rhythm work of bassist Karsten Dines and drummer Benjamin Funk, all produce sufficient amounts of upbeat excellence to keep any fan of rock, with a huge R, entertained. Some of the material here admittedly falls victim to anonymity over the course of several listens, but there's such strength in the singles that these missteps are easily obscured. So if good ol' honest rock'n'roll sounds up your alley, you're unlikely to find it delivered with more skill and flair than SuperCharger.
Download: Like a Pitbull, Blood Red Lips, Hung Over in Hamburg, Get What You Deserve, The Crash
For the fans of: Black Star Riders, Saint Rebel, Shotgun Revolution
Release date 29.01.2014
Gain Music Entertainment