Supergrass Life On Other Planets

The fact that UK rockers Supergrass have never really developed an identifiable signature sound has afforded the Oxford trio the creative freedom to change stylistic hats at will. On this latest CD, the band dons a classic early '70s lid, the reverb-heavy likes of which has formerly been fashioned by John Lennon and T-Rex's Marc Bolan. Sonic similarities aside, some of these 12 ditties represent the mellowest and mid-tempo material Gaz and the gang have ever trotted out. Sure, there are a few more typical and upbeat moments here, like the ska guitar-infused "Brecon Beacon" and the super-heavy single, "Never Done Nothing Like That Before." The title of the latter track is ironic, in that it's the only number even vaguely reminiscent of the band's early catalogue. The song's inclusion here serves to remind listeners that Supergrass will likely never come forward with another record as fully infectious and instantly memorable as the band's 1995 debut, I Should Coco. But while some fans may lament that fact, the band deserves plenty of credit for looking forward and challenging itself with something new; even if it at times sounds about 30 years old. (EMI)