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Supersuckers play Palookaville like the chosen ones of down-home rock & roll

By Matt Koumaras

THE SUPERSUCKERS GRACED Palookaville Oct. 20, led by vocalist, bassist and future NASCAR poster boy Eddie Spaghetti. They succeeded in their quest to please "the coolest 60 people in Santa Cruz." Spaghetti's red wine-soaked four-note bass breakdown to "Creepy Jackalope Eye" proved the stars weren't in the sky but onstage. It was touching to see male fans frolicking in the pit together with "I love you, man" eyes to the supercharged chorus of "She's My Bitch." Ron (he of "Ron's Got the Cocaine" fame) and Reynaldo's guitars spilled out more barbecued, fuzzed-out, high-octane fuel onstage than the Exxon Valdez. The blistering dual guitar on Thin Lizzy's "Cowboy Song" was so sick I had to get my stomach pumped (so that's where that Rod Stewart tape went). Newer ditties like "Hot Like the Sun" and "Gone Gamblin' " show the band can still handle songs in the two-minutes-or-less grandeur of the "Smoke of Hell" days. The slovenly "I Want the Drugs" may get them booted from Big Brothers, but it's a price you have to pay for being the chosen ones of down-home rock & roll. Leanne may rhyme, but the Supersuckers cuss--advantage Supersuckers!

Alaska's Gaza Strippers took it off with a rock & roll swagger a la the Humpers and Wayne Kramer. Both guitarists, doing their best Richards & Wood impersonations, fed ravenously off each other's form-shifting leads. The drummer's overlapping fills on "Medicine Man" combusted me at the seams. Their version of Love and Rockets' "Yin and Yang and the Flower Pot Man" proved a textbook lesson of sustain and release. There's no mystery in Alaska anymore because a great rock band has been thawing out energetic rock and letting it bleed over the years.

CD Review: Dilligaf, 'Enjoy It While You Can'

Producer Bart Thurber must be spiking all these bands' drinks with something special to make them all sound so good. If this is the case, then Dilligaf must have had a few weekends of free refills. This release expands upon the tight metallic clutches of Vent, offering a more bold, explosive sound that's hard to clamp down. "Pale, White, and Bloated" sports a tricked-out jazz riff so proud George Hamilton is staying out of the sun. "Mice" shows there isn't a trap in the world to keep the metallic rodent from snagging the finest of cheeses. "Nothing at All" is my favorite, with a catchy guitar shuffle and breezy verses that stick like a headbanger to a ball. Eric and Jeff's vocals hit a precise mark and serve as perfect foils to the band's arsenal of grooves. If there is a better local rock guitarist than Arch, please stand up and prepare to be executed, because these nine songs prove you dead wrong. "One Thing" shreds with Arch's celestial guitar harmonics and embalming riff inventions. Contact Dilligaf c/o Hard 8 Records, 4415 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, 95062.


Lodestar, Boy Kicks Girl, Sick Shift and Thumbs Down play the Brookdale Lodge Friday (16 and over); also Friday, Dilligaf and Cold Rolled Coil play Skinny's; Suicidal Tendencies, Custom Made Scare and Riff Raff play Palookaville Tuesday.

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From the October 27-November 3, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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