From the first double-decker slab of fuzz guitar, Supergrass’s sixth album exists within a constant timewarp framework, never fully of the now, but expertly extracting worthwhile artifacts from past and present sounds (the slender hints of dub during the opening strains of “Rough Knuckles” yielding to orchestral bombast and Talking Heads-style keyboard chirps).
On Diamond Hoo Ha, Supergrass blenderizes its record collection to charming, if not a bit one-note, effect. The soulful skronk of “Whisky & Green Tea” chops up playful word-poetics and nonspeak scramble over a mess of powerchords and saxophone scribbles. Strong power pop love song, “Rebel In You” lets Supergrass indulge in it’s most explicit showboating, perfect for television commercials and Anglophiles first entranced by the group’s big beat anthem, Pumping On Your Stereo.” Elsewhere, an everlasting seventies sci-fi keyboard note on ”Outside” reps the songs singular moment of glory, while “345” nicely tosses off balance rhythms and acoustic guitar crunch with a full-swing, apologetic boyfriend chorus.
Gaz Coombes buoyant vocals support each track, tipping into Dylan-esque territory on “Ghost Of A Friend,” but otherwise finding solid footholds within the schizo glitter fashion of early 70’s Iggy Pop (best displayed on the rousing, spiraling punk gospel of “Bad Blood”.
Diamond Hoo Ha avoids the skuzzy rock energy of the group’s earliest hit “Caught By the Fuzz” and the space-rock experimentation championed on 2002’s Life On Other Planets, in favor of a slightly faceless but always peppy and well-crafted glossy Brit-rock sound.
Favorite Track: “Bad Blood”