SuperDeluxe was one of those Posies-like bands from the grungy 1990s that dared to invoke melody in its songs (gasp!). In fact, these Seattle boys were downright rebels considering they hailed from the hotbed of music that spawned the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.
The band split before 2000 ever rolled around and frontman Braden Blake started doing solo gigs, finally releasing an album of twee pop last year that sounded like Matthew Sweet's wimpy kid brother (and I mean that in a good way). But for whatever reason, SuperDeluxe decided to set aside whatever differences brought about the split and has released a solid five-song EP titled Lolita. While it isn't as consistent as the band's second and final full-length album Via Satellite, it shows the guys not only haven't lost their affinity for melody, but also that they aren't afraid to stretch themselves just a tad.
Reviving a tradition of writing songs about girls, featuring girls' names, "Alysson's Gone" kicks off the CD with a sweet pop melody and a story about a girl who has either died or disappeared. (Morbid pop?) "Knockout" comes next and, if this were a major-label release, would be the album's "single." It's an up-tempo power-pop gem about adolescent love and the only song I can ever recall hearing that mentions the Knack. Straight-up, unapologetic dumb fun. "Give it Up" spins in a different way, with a slightly edgier approach that sounds faintly like Australian rockers Jet. The closing cut, "Lolita," bookends the disc with another song about yet another girl.
All in all, this is a nice breath of fresh air from one of my favorite bands of the 1990s. You won't hear it on the radio, but if you fondly recall this band or bands like the Posies and Material Issue, this would be seven bucks well spent. Check out www.superdeluxemusic.netto get your copy.