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Supergrass are one of the few bands to survive -- and thrive beyond -- the mid-1990s Brit pop revival. Coming from peaceful Oxford, England, the teenage band hit the ground running, scoring high placements on British charts with their initial singles, which pointed the way for their 1995 debut, I Should Coco. The album revealed the band's knack for channeling the sound and spirit of '70s pop punk of acts like the Buzzcocks, the Undertones and the Jam while remaining connected to the original '60s British Invasion scene. I Should Coco's upbeat energy, unstoppable good spirits and contagious sense of fun stood in stark contrast to the cynically maudlin, generic teen angst alt rock wares being peddled to teenagers by the American post-grunge and rapcore scenes. This was music for sharing with friends and going out and celebrating, not holing up in your room. 1997's In It For the Money found the group taming (though not deleting) the blazing punk tempos of their first phase and further exposing the Beatles/Kinks/Badfinger accents and soaring power pop melodies at the heart of so many of their songs. While this was closer in style to what Oasis was doing at the same time, the fact that Supergrass were continuing to grow past their contemporaries was supported by their third, self-titled release. The LP earned FM radio play for the infectious Stones-go-glam track "Pumping on Your Stereo" and the album opener, "Moving," which builds ever upward from its best-U2-song-in-ages intro. 2002's Life on Other Planets was Supergrass' "great leap forward," containing all their '60s and '70s influences (with an even greater focus on Badfinger) and positive energy but tempering them with a greater interest in experimenting with song structure, texture and instrumentation. While 2004's "best of" retrospective, Supergrass Is 10, reminded everyone how good their entire back catalog is, the next year's Road to Rouen showed that the group could go as mid-tempo, reflective and bittersweet as the best of them. Supergrass now display an even deeper connection with their initial musical heroes (Lennon/McCartney, Ray Davies, Paul Weller, and Petes Hamm and Shelley), without diminishing their own identity.
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