“Listen to it with headphones,” advised guitarist Jeremy McCollum as he handed me a copy of his band’s new CD. “OK,” I said, smiling meekly, unsure quite what to make of what he had just told me.
All vagaries quickly vanished when I listened to the record, as suggested, with volume high and headphones firmly in place. To feel the raw, almost haunting power of SuperGiant’s hard rock psychedelia, the sound must be allowed access to the deepest crevices of the ear drum. The band’s self-titled debut release is an album with razor-sharp teeth. It starts shredding with the opening riff of “Luna,” the album’s first track.
SuperGiant is kept intentionally unpolished, allowing the minor mistakes and miscues to, as McCollum puts it, give the album “character.”
“We definitely didn't want to play to a click track and synchronize our music on a computer,” McCollum says. “So much of music today is over-polished and too perfect. It kills the emotion.” After the tracks were recorded, overdubs were added which help make lead singer Joel Rogers sound like Roger Waters.
For what is essentially a live album with songs often recorded in one take, the EP is a true showcase of four bandmates with the same musical ambition. When a group isn’t on the same page, their differing objectives become more apparent in a live show; perhaps taking the form of a drawn-out guitar solo or an overabundance of drum fills and cymbal crashes.
You won’t find that in a SuperGiant performance or on the CD. Every lead has a purpose and every transition takes place without meaningless delay. McCollum believes this is because SuperGiant’s members are right where they want to be. “I think we’re making the music we've all wanted to make for a long time,” McCollum says. “We all feel that we're lucky to have found four guys with the same vision and idea of what we want our music to sound like. It's kinda like finding your soul mate, but it's bandmates ... to make music.”
With the much-appreciated help of producer Sid Garcia, SuperGiant can now celebrate the group’s achievements with a CD release party at the Launchpad on Friday, June 23. They will be joined by Death Valley Days, Black Maria and Jason and the Argonauts. Jason Daniello (the well-known leader of the Argonauts) will be playing one of his last shows in Albuquerque and has promised SuperGiant something special to ring in their new release.