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Live at the Lava Room Supernova, What Else? Records 1996?
Side 1
4.Best Coat
5.Gum Fighter
Side 2
8.Swat the Fly
9.Rip You Off
10.Calling Hong Kong

Every once in a while you find a band with lyrics so insipid you can't imagine what they were thinking, and Supernova, formerly of Costa Mesa, California, is just such a band. Tackling hard-hitting issues from cookies to the advantages of selling out, there's really nothing they can't do. Having gone through a few line-ups and a number of releases on vinyl, it seems only fitting that they have at least one live release on vinyl.

We couldn't find an exact release date for the album as no copyright information is on the jacket or the 10" record album, but the concert was recorded on Friday, October 4, 1996. The lineup of the band was the later one, minus a member who allegedly left the band due to a skirmish with the law. Art, Jo, and Dave do a great job keeping up with the audience and making some fairly amusing conversation with them and the dirty hippies in attendance.

With the exception of "Rip You Off," which sounds like a rip on "The Safety Dance," all the tracks can be found on other Supernova CD releases. They're a little quicker on the live release, and there's more of an energy to be found here that makes some of the tracks sound just a little more intelligent than on previous recordings.

Of course, there's only so much intelligence you can infuse into a song like "Vitamins" or "Math." The constant refrain of "Take Your Vitamins/They're Good For You" shows that the band is probably having an absolute field day at the expense of an unsuspecting audience, while "Math" reveals their simple intentions. It's a unique act, to say the least, and word on the street was that they were expected to hit it really big in the mid-1990s. They didn't, but they did put out a couple of CDs with this line-up before fading away into obscurity.

Fans of Supernova owe it to themselves to order this from What Else? Records at their earliest opportunity It's a fun album and shows what it might have been like to see them live if, like many of their fans, you found out about them too late. It's $6.00 and over a half hour, so it's hard not to like if you're a fan of the band. If you're not a fan... maybe you should find some MP3s first.

--Adam Pawlus
March 7, 2004

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