Emerging as the brats of the Britpop movement, Oxford’s Supergrass burst onto the scene whipping out immediate, punchy tunes with a distinctly English accent, sort of like Green Day by way of the Small Faces and Buzzcocks.
Singer/guitarist Gareth (Gaz) Coombes and drummer Danny Goffey had been teenage members of the Jennifers, a quartet whose only release, a four-track EP, is a mildly entertaining bit of energetic jangledelia. To the chagrin of no one, that band packed it in, and two years later, Gaz and Danny resurfaced with bassist Mickey Quinn as Supergrass. The band — whose moniker is British slang for a police informer — first hit with the amphetamine bubblegum 7-inch “Caught by the Fuzz,” which chronicles a lad’s first pot bust and deals with that situation’s primary crisis: that is, Mom’s gonna be pissed. That single — an acoustic version of which later appeared on a Sub Pop 45 — was quickly followed by the boisterous Slade-meets-Madness stomp, “Mansize Rooster.”
Both of those singles (along with their respective flipsides, “Lose It” and “Sitting Up Straight”) appear on Supergrass’ full-length debut, I Should Coco, along with a bounty of other hook-strewn ditties extolling the giddy exultation and dopey abandon of post-pubescent youth. Punky glam guitars, Keith Moon-ish drum rolls and helium harmonies abound, notably through the Carnaby Street swing of “She’s So Loose” and “Alright,” an utterly delightful, mostly monosyllabic, teen anthem. “We are young/We run green/Keep our teeth/Nice and clean,” sings the nineteen-year-old Gaz over a barrelhouse music-hall piano. (It should be noted that his glee in young adulthood doesn’t only inform his music. This is, after all, a man who is so pleased with his newfound ability to grow facial hair that he sports pop’s most ridiculous muttonchops since Noddy Holder.) Being young, the ‘Grass do enjoy a wank, though the spirits are so high that the sped-up silliness of “We’re Not Supposed To” and the Beatlesque blues spaceout, “Sofa (of My Lethargy)” go down as easy larfs. The good-natured and curiously eccentric I Should Coco finds these kids to be alright indeed.
Alright/Time includes the two LP tracks for which the EP is named, a rapido-speedo take on the Kenny Rogers and the First Edition nugget “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” and “Je Suis Votre Papa Sucre,” a pointless bit of mock-Parisian tomfoolery.