Years ago I saw New Orleans’ own Supagroup nearly take down the house at One Eyed Jacks. The group managed to pull out all the classic heavy metal moves, sound and energy of a mega stadium show in an intimate venue. The result was thunderous — lead guitarist Benji Lee’s energy high energy kicks and oodles of noodles, and brother Chris Lee’s raspy voice and fabulous hair flips. Above all else, Supagroup embodied an unqualified love of hard hitting rock and roll. Drawing from sounds like AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and a deep familiarity with the entire field of late 70s and eighties metal, the band strikes a balance between playing up the genre without quite reaching the point of parody.
Now over a decade after its formation, the band has seen some significant change in its line-up with new drummer Leon Touzet and Brian Broussard, both of long-time local favs, Dash Rip Rock. In addition, the band’s latest and fourth album, Hail! Hail! was not produced by the mega successful Kevin Shirley. Instead the band felt the need to regain control of their sound and schedule and while Shirley mixed the album, Supagroup opted to work from their own local studio, the House of Lee,
You can hear the entirety of Hail! Hail! on the band’s website. In addition to their mainstay heavy metal sound, listeners will detect some Southern twang guitar in songs such as “Sexy Summertime” and “Crazy Too” as well as some riskier, satisfying departures from their normal fare with the anthem “The Bold” and “Never Bring a Knife into a Gunfight.”
However strong their albums, there’s little doubt that Supagroup’s strength still lies their amped live performances. Voodoo audiences can count on the group delivering a charged, head banging show. As singer and back up guitarist Chris Lee says on the band’s website, “Our goal is very simple. Write great songs, record them well, and kick a$$ with them live.”