The most simian-like trio known to man, Supergrass, has returned from the jungle to record their fourth studio album. Life On Other Planets finds the boys from Oxford, who are now theoretically a quartet with the official addition of frontman Gaz Coombes' brother Rob on keyboards, revisiting their glam roots, injecting the album with a decidedly T. Rex/Elton John/David Bowie slant. LOOP is a definite step forward from 1999's disappointing self-titled album, as some of the band's early verve and energy seems to have recaptured. The driving "Rush Hour Soul" is evocative of Supergrass at their best while "Seen The Light" is a undiscovered-radio-hit-in-waiting from 1974. Many tempos and vibes can be found on LOOP, as well, as in a two song swing, they progress from the bouncy, saloon piano-tinged "Evening Of The Day" to the fastest track on the album, the manic Whotastic "Never Done Nothing Like That Before." In a time when the more established bands of the British rock era of the '90s are issuing tired, soul-numbing albums (Suede, Pulp), it's good to know one of the old guard can be trusted to record something that gives hope.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN