Fire for Hire

Fire for Hire

by Supagroup


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Fire for Hire

The party-happy Supagroup experienced a major setback in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina barreled through the band's native New Orleans and left miles of irreparable damage in its wake. Just three months prior, Supagroup had released their fifth album, Rules, whose unabashedly trashy set list (including "Let's Go [Get Wasted]" and "It Takes Balls") channeled the raucous, liquored-up revelry of Mardi Gras. Once the storm came, however, that attitude didn't seem appropriate -- nor was music foremost on the band's mind. What was once a tongue-in-cheek mission to spread rock & roll's soul-saving power had become a bad joke in light of Katrina's severity, and Supagroup halted their current tour, raced home to retrieve their girlfriends, and scattered to dry land. Their larger-than-life aspirations lay dormant until weeks later, when infamous shock rocker Alice Cooper phoned the group with an invitation to join him on a national tour. Supagroup hit the road once again, and their satiric mission of spreading the rock gospel didn't seem like such a joke anymore. Party anthems and whiskey-soaked guitar riffs may lack substantial depth, but they're a helluva hangover cure. As New Orleans started down the long road to recovery, the rejuvenated Supagroup soldiered on into Continental Europe, showing the world that their hometown still had plenty of rock & roll left. It's this spirit -- equal parts defiance, confidence, and rock-crazed decadence -- that gives the band's first post-Katrina offering, Fire for Hire, a Cajun-styled bite. "Hello everybody, we are Supagroup from New Orleans, Louisiana, and we're here to kick your ass!" proclaims frontman Chris Lee, kick-starting the album with his band's clear-cut mission statement. As before, their Southern-styled groove is reminiscent of the Black Crowes' raunchiest material, with power-chorded guitar and boogie bass also conjuring up memories of classic rock icons AC/DC and the Faces. The Darkness once trafficked in similar circles, but Fire for Hire isn't particularly campy -- nor does it attempt to pull New Orleans out of its soggy slump with U2 levels of spiritual uplift. Rather, Supagroup's latest delivers focused, balls-to-the-wall blasts of cock rock, with all the usual nods to underaged sleaze ("Jailbait"), sexual bravado ("Fire for Fire"), and the venerable tradition of plugging Gibson guitars into Marshall stacks and cranking the beer-stained knobs to 11 ("Long Live Rock"). The Lee brothers are a hedonistic pair, and their distorted guitar interplay -- not to mention their throaty call-and-response vocals on "What's Your Problem Now?" -- show a sibling set as entwined as the Black Crowes' Robinson boys. Granted, the Crowes took their cues from a wider range of artists, and their soul influences were responsible for many a radio hit. Fire for Hire isn't as varied, nor does it disguise the band's chief strength as a live act. Supagroup's music is purposely greasy and gritty; when the group sets up shop inside a recording studio, the grease doesn't shine so brightly. Nevertheless, Fire for Hire has enough amped-up kick to stand on its own, both as a testament to the band's live show and a tribute to the party spirit that formerly pervaded New Orleans. Releasing such an album in 2006 would have been irreverent and tasteless; in 2007, however, as New Orleans continues to rebuild, Fire for Hire is a well-timed jolt of energy and harmless mania.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/19/2008
Label: Foodchain Records
UPC: 0020286123521
catalogNumber: 17
Rank: 102306

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