Posted by: Ryan Allen on September 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm
Sleeper, “What Do I Do Now?” (1996, Arista)
Quite possibly one of the most underrated Brit-pop bands around in the 1990s, Sleeper had a glimmer of a chance at stardom during the highly-covered “Battle of Brit-pop” between Oasis and Blur. Louise Wener, the sugary sweet, impeccably pop-savvy front woman and the gang (referred to jokingly as the “Sleeperblokes”) snuck into the top 10 of the UK singles chart twice in 1996, while everyone else was too busy slamming each other in the press. Unfortunately, Sleeper broke up in 1998, leaving us with only three albums to obsess over, and a greatest hits album in 2007. Lucky for us, videos of some of their power pop gems are still floating around the Internetz — including “What Do I Do Now,” a synthy nugget of modern rock that is like the perfect amalgam of Pulp’s glammy sneer and Elastica’s jangly femme-pop. — Elle Sawa
Tags: Blur, Brit-pop, Nice Guy Eddie, Oasis, Sleeper, Sleeperblokes, The It Girl, What Do I Do Now?
Posted by: Ryan Allen on July 3, 2008 at 12:00 pm
Supergrass, Diamond Hoo Ha (Parlophone, 2008)
MP3: “Diamond Hoo Ha Man”
Whether being depicted as teenage scruffs trying to avoid getting “caught by the fuzz,” or as other-planetary Major Tom’s, Brit-pop survivors Supergrass have always been cast as zany classic-rock revivalists that don’t mind hamming it up for the camera. Look to any of the group’s videos throughout their fifteen-year career, and you’re as likely to find them biking around town, sporting t-shirts with their names splayed on them (“Alright”), as you are watching them become elastic-limbed puppets (“Pumping On Your Stereo”), bop around on pogo-sticks (“Late In the Day”), or impersonate homeless guys (“Rush Hour Soul”). Where the band has succeeded, and perhaps where other Brit-rock contemporaries like Oasis and Coldplay have tripped up in the “personable” department, is that they’ve managed to be taken mostly seriously by not taking themselves too seriously — no wonder Dave Grohl is a big fan. So it should be no shock that in the video for “Diamond Hoo Ha Man” — the single from this year’s Diamond Hoo Ha — Supergrass assume the identity of fictional German two-piece Diamond Hoo Ha Men (with singer/guitarist Gaz Coombes as “Duke Diamond” and drummer Danny Goffey playing the part of “Randy Hoo Ha”). But don’t expect Kraftwerk-ian blips and bleeps; in both song and on film, we’re getting classic Supergrass. The riffs are heavy, still tipping it’s glitter-encrusted hat to the likes of 1970s glam-champions T. Rex and the Sweet, as we watch the boys — in character, of course — gallivant like the rockstars they are pretending to be (and are, at least in England). And yes, we know this is a record review, but it goes without saying that by using the video and single as evidence, Supergrass are comfortable being, well, Supergrass. Album highlights like “Rebel In You” — with it’s “Coming Read more