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Supernaughty - Volume 1

Volume 1
by Chris Hawkins at 18 March 2018, 2:44 AM

With a name that would seem to harken back to the big-hair and makeup obsessed Sunset Strip, SUPERNAUGHTY is a name that is actually a variant on the classic Metal song, "Supernaut," by the immortal BLACK SABBATH.  Formed in Italy in 2014, the band assesses its sound to be a combination of Grunge and Stoner Rock.  In reality, there is little on the album to point to ALICE IN CHAINS or KYUSS having any kind of bearing on the sound.

Sadly, SUPERNAUGHTY are the sum of influences that seem not to go much deeper than AOR radio hits from the 1990s.  As brilliant bands like BADLANDS, TESLA, and KING'S X were quietly swept under the carpet like enemies of the state and falsely labelled "hair bands," a culture of minimalism seemed to take over in the mainstream of Rock and Metal.  While Punk had a legitimate share of influence in heavy music, to ostracize bands with more than competent musicianship was counter-productive.  It is of the Alternative Rock crop of bands that this band seems to owe much of their sound to.  Bands like COLLECTIVE SOUL, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, and others seem to hold more stake in the sound of SUPERNAUGHTY.  One cannot help but get the impression of a band playing at a local bar as their sound is "safe," with very little heavy or edgy qualities.  The formula of playing drop-d heavy riffs with a palm-muted verse line and a sappy chorus is the way most of the album transpires.  Most Metal fans would probably agree with having more allegiance to MOTLEY CRUE than STAIND.

The first track "Mistress," does its job as an up-tempo rocker to lead out of the gate.  "The Slicers," the third track, features a flange-soaked guitar line, and in the latter half of the song picks up with a solo that does have a hint of Tony Iommi.  With a mid-pace tempo, "Andy's Abduction," the fourth track, crawls a la later SOUNDGARDEN.  The dissonant chords that start out the fifth track, "Kiss the Death" sound almost identical to those of "Blind," the first hit from KORN.  The song then reverts back to the formula described above, though the chorus does have a trippy-sounding feel a la later LSD-influenced BEATLES.  The last track, "Fuck 'n Drive," has more of a rocking vibe which worked, but it ultimately made me wonder why they did not use this formula for more of the album.  At the 2:20 mark, there is a big ode to BLACK SABBATH, and the band truly sounds so much better without the Alternative elements.

Ultimately, it's hard to understand what the band is going for.  The guitars are thin, a sound that makes me wonder if they are using too many effects, cheap effects, or perhaps the producer does not have much experience in "heavier" music.  Unlike some of their peers, the bass does not sound big enough.  There are points where it seems to just drop out when it could be driving the song still.  The vocals are a radio-safe mixture of Scott Weiland and Perry Farrell.  Perhaps with time, the band can form more of their own identity, but as it stands they do not in any way live up to their namesake.

Songwriting:           6
Originality:              4
Memorability:        4
Production:             3

2 Star Rating

1. Mistress
2. Bad games
3. The Slicers
4. Andy's Abduction
5. Kiss the Death
6. Y.A.T.
7. Fuck 'n Drive
Filippo Del Bimbo - Guitar
Alessio Franceschi - Drums
Angelo Fagni – Vocals and Guitar
Luca Raffoni – Bass
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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Edited 19 September 2019

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