Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
If you’re like me and have a music obsession you can probably pinpoint that one album that started you down that path. For me it was the Supertones debut record.
I already liked music and you could say I loved music at this point in my life. Forefront Records was releasing a steady stream of quality alternative rock that was the play list to my preteen years. But the Supertones changed the game. The very first time I watched Real Videos on TBN (anyone else remember this?) brand new Tooth and Nail artist the Supertones were being interviewed by Crystal Lewis and talking about ska. I wasn’t super interested until they debuted their video for Adonai. In that very interest I had a new favorite band and a new favorite style of music. Ska, and the Supertones in particular, had just changed my 12-year-old life.
Listening to Adventures of the OC Supertones today you notice a couple things. The production is rough. Compared to their smash album, Supertones Strike Back, Adventures sounds like a debut from new band on a small indie label, and that’s what it was. You also notice that the smooth horn sound from later albums is missing. Supertones Strike Back saw the addition of Dan Spencer on trombone, which was the driving horn instrument for the band from that album on. Just trumpet and sax on Adventures gives the horn section a harsher sound.
The songs are still great. I can put on Adventures and still skank around my room from start to finish. Some tracks obviously hold up better then others. He Will Always Be There, OC Supertones, Unknown, Never Wanna Fall are all still killer tracks. The lyrics were never the Supertones strongest asset, and 15 years later they come across as cheesy at points.
While my love for the Supertones didn’t last very long, by Chase the Sun I had moved on to punk and hardcore, The Adventures of the OC Supertones is a record that changed my life. I probably enjoy listening to the Supertones more today then I did back in 96/97 and while Adventures wasn’t the bands big break, it was a game changer in my life.