Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Golden Vault’, where we delve into the annals of music to bring you a classic album. You’ll know some like the back of your hand and nothing of others. We hope to get you reacquainted with old friends and create new favourites. The album to be taken out of the Golden Vault for reappraisal this week is Supergrass' 'I Should Coco'.
Twentysomething years on the history books of popular culture have somewhat been the victim of revisionism when it comes to the subject of Brit pop. Many of its successful acts have been erased or their significance diminished to suit the narrative of a decade of pop music simply being the lexicon of Blur Vs Oasis with Suede, Pulp and Manic Street Preachers as supporting characters.
There were of course other bands and other albums of merit that are to this day worthy of praise - Radiohead and Super Furry Animals emerged during this period. The Longpigs delivered ‘The Sun is Often Out’, Mansun ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’, The Verve ‘A Northern Soul’.
Three hairy young men from Oxford would win the hearts and minds of a generation with their breakneck debut ‘I Should Coco’. Supergrass, Gaz Coombes, Mick Quinn and Danny Goffey delivered a snappy collection of quick paced and light-hearted songs that both caricatured youth culture in Britain and connected with it.
‘I Should Coco’ delivered dick jokes, tales of first love and first arrests, experimenting with drink and drugs, wanking, the jaded hypocrisy of adults and government arms and a desire to never become like the establishment. It encapsulated the hopes and dreams of bored Britain for a better future into 40 minutes of thrashing drums, intricate fast-paced walking basslines and chugging guitar riffs flanked by instantaneous melodies.
Supergrass’ songs were as lean as the band was thin. Eight of ‘I Should Coco’s 13 tracks were three minutes long or less. Only three of the remaining five tracks broke the four-minute mark. Time To Go, its closer, didn’t even break the two-minute mark. Supergrass were succinct and salient, a combination that made them a thrilling and vigorous proposition.
Smash hit single Alright, would eventually garner Supergrass with an Ivor Nevello award for best Contemporary Song and singlehandedly reinvigorate the popularity of the lamb chop’s place in male grooming. However, ‘I Should Coco’ was much more than a novelty single, propelled by a cheeky chappy video - at a time when MTV UK and Ireland was at the height of its powers,
It was a honest sticky mess of teenage (wet) dreams and idealism that inspired a generation to forget about its woes and party, even if they were Caught By The Fuzz.