Song 195: Superdrag, “Sucked Out” (1996)

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I’ve been thinking about the nineties a lot lately, mostly because of a piece I’m writing about the Britpop also-rans Longpigs. Like most decades, the nineties had a handful of bands that either flamed out or faded away after a big hit song. And like most decades, a handful of them were pretty damn good.

Superdrag’s “Sucked Out” has always, erm, stuck out to me for many reasons. Its self-awareness was a little ahead of its time; the “we’re one-hit wonders!” thing seems more like an aughts phenomenon (or at least late nineties: the title of Sugar Ray’s record 14:59 was a stopwatch ticking down their 15 minutes of fame). Then there’s that melody and chord structure, neither of which are complicated, but they both sound like a little classical piece. If you played the song on a piano and slowed it down, it would sound downright pretty.

And then, of course, there’s that chorus, with its shouted “feeeliiiiiing” that sounds like it’s the apex of a toddler tantrum. (For proof, check out two-year-old Cason’s rendition.) It’s totally distinctive, and it’s probably the thing that caught peoples’ short attention spans in 1996. You know this song even if you don’t think you know it.

The rest of Regretfully Yours is more of the same, but that’s not a criticism. It’s a tight little post-grunge album, one that both represents its era and holds up completely. That’s a rare thing.

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