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Supagroup 

Saturday, June 18, at the Beachland Ballroom.

After five years, this New Orleans gang is attracting a bit of a buzz, along with a few other fringe pop-metalers, such as Diamond Nights and RPG. So each ought to have its major-label debut just as the next Darkness record comes out -- which would undoubtedly fuel the inevitable claims that "rock is back."

Not that it went anywhere. Rock is still a big seller, only it's gussied up in the goth imagery and hip-hop beats of Slipknot and others, which still makes most critics a bit queasy. So most butt-basic and bawdy AC/DC "rawk" like this feels instantly retro and kitschy, no matter how hard the band tries. And Supagroup tries really hard.

The band's debut, Rules (Foodchain), is fat, fast, and loud sleaze boogie of the sort Aerosmith used to make, featuring such useful relationship insights as "She has a knack for makin' hay." Rumor has it that one major label has already offered Supagroup big bucks, just as long as some producer writes all the songs, which proves that these boys have that mojo ripe for the picking.

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