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| 29 January 2020 | Reply

Self released
September 2019
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Any issues the Australian music loving public had with The Superjesus, the Adelaide quartet fronted by dynamic pocket rocket Sarah McLeod, were subtle and nagging, rather than obvious. One could argue that they burst onto the scene just a little too late and broke up too early. That over the course of three well-received albums they didn’t quite build enough of a consistent repertoire of classics. Or that their albums didn’t quite catch the energy and raunch of their live performances.

It’s nit picking, but such are the differences between a band one likes and a band one loves.

Well, forget everything I just wrote, because there’s not the merest hint of any of those (admittedly minor) gripes on this document of their 2018 tour to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of debut album Sumo.

Listening to this album on nice, warm vinyl was about as close to seeing the band live without actually getting knocked about by drunken, sweaty bums lacking in social graces.

Record one features practically every track on Sumo, recorded live at The Manning Bar in Sydney on the 19th of October, 2018. Alongside their bigger hits Down Again, Saturation and Now And Then, as a bonus there is also originally hidden track Shut My Eyes, and Blisterment, which was the b-side to the Down Again single. There’s also Holy Water, from second album The Jet Age, presumably just to shake things up a little, and it certainly does that with its muscular riff and catchy chorus.

The Sydney crowd lap up song after song, often lending their voices and singing along, and it’s an extended Sandfly that best shows the ultra-tight dynamic of the band over nine-and-a-quarter minutes of post grunge alt rock. Crucially the album, though twenty years old, doesn’t sound dated, and nor do these songs sound too samey to be delivered in one action packed set.

Record two hails from a week later, the 27th of October, 2018, recorded at Brisbane’s The Zoo, and it’s aptly named as one can hear the energy in the room, catch a whiff of the sweat undoubtedly dripping from the ceiling, and get caught up in the animalistic vibe of what was obviously a great gig.

A handful of tracks from the Jet Age – Second Sun (performed solo by McLeod playing just a tender piano – with vocal help from the Brizzy crowd – highlighting the fragile beauty of the song), Enough To Know, Secret Agent Man and firm fan favourite Gravity (extended for well over eleven minutes here with a huge singalong making a fittingly exciting climax to the show) – mingle seamlessly with Strips Of You from their 1996 debut EP and Love & Violence, the title track from their 2016 comeback EP twenty years later. There’s even one offering from third album Rock Music – the excellent Stick Together – and their heavy A.F. cover of Kylie Minogue’s Confide In Me, which they originally recorded in ’96, but which wasn’t released until the anniversary reissue of Sumo.

Superjesus have released live albums before, as bonus discs on some album reissues, mostly, but it’s here that they raise the bar and showcase the band in all their glory, the way they should be heard. Even the live photos adorning the cover convey energy and oomph and a true feel of the band live.

Surely a new original album chock full of instant Superjesus classics must be next for the band, because, frankly, they are sounding better than ever.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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