Superdrag is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They have been churning out riffs and hooks for years, but have yet to ascend to higher ground. “Last Call for Vitriol” is a solid album, but it isn’t spitting distance from their previous three. The songs are strong, but safe. I’m not asking for an “OK Computer,” but how about a little envelope push? Superdrag expresses my concerns twice on “Last Call for Vitriol.”
First, track eight, “Safe and Warm,” is exactly what Superdrag is. They aren’t a risk, but some listeners
only want to feel safe and warm. “Safe and Warm” as a song doesn’t stand well on its own. A simple ballad that’s idea has been played by everyone from Elvis Costello to Paul McCartney to Mr. Big. “Remain Yer Strange” asks the question: Are you ever going to change? Superdrag has found a way to rock that works, but you can only eat PB and J for so long before you crave something else. Maybe a burrito here, some split pea soup, even rummed up egg nog.
“The Staggering Genius” does push rock out like a sweat on a fat man running the mile and gets the ball rolling on the album. “I Can’t Wait” and “Remain Yer Strange” are the high points of the album with the quartet hitting all the major chord progressions and tempo changes that make you tap your foot and push repeat. If you are a fan of Superdrag, this album won’t disappoint you. If you’re new to the Superdrag world, check out their first two albums (“Regretfully Yours” and “Head Trip in Every Key”) and hear their fuzz rock when the peanut butter was still fresh.