Though they've been around since 1981, Long Beach's Secret Hate are finally releasing their first full-length album. In that gap, there was a 12-inch, Vegetables Dancing Live and More, which lives on in the hearts of old punkers like the Dub Allstars' Ras-1, who has the Secret Hate logo tattooed on his chest. A warning, though: they're very punk-rock. How's this for anti-social: "I love you/So I won't throw you out the window to your death"? I'm a sucker for men who can express themselves. True, vocalist Mike Davis (no relation to the brilliant Marxist sociologist) is hardly a poster child for healthy relationships. His idea of "Love Enough" reminds me of "Love the One You're With," with its free-lovin' orgy scenes. The liberty to lie down with two tantalizing ladies if he chooses—that's what he's talking about. His sexy, soulful singing rivals Anthony Kiedis', and the track's lovey-dovey tempo is so appealing I'm actually thinking for the first time in my life that a threesome sounds good . . . um, next song, please! New guitarist Bob Schaeffer (who replaced original deceased guitarist Reggie Rector) gets to show off some tasty licks in the moody "Liar," while Davis shoots off Danzig-like yelps that bitch about the music biz's hunger for corporate-tinged punk ("You can have a pop cult contest!"). It's a given that many LBC rock stars will be in the house Friday for Secret Hate's CD-release party. I see an all-star jam coming on, and I ain't talking boysenberry. (Arrissia Owen)
Secret Hate play with Corn Doggy Dog and Spider at the Foothill, 1922 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill, (562) 494-5196. Fri., 9:30 p.m. $6. 18+.
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Supergrass' latest sounds like a Best of Brit Pop collection, rocking back and forth between contemporary acts like the Charlatans UK and Oasis ("Eon") and vets like Queen and the Stones ("What Went Wrong," "Shotover Hill"). The English quartet also has much in common with fellow countrymen Blur—both enjoy superstar status at home but have barely cracked one-hit-wonderdom in the U.S.; in both cases, the bands' American radio singles are the dullest representations of their full-spectrum talent, almost tailor-written for irony-immune American MTV masses (indeed, Supergrass' "Alright" made it on the Clueless soundtrack). If all you know is "Alright," Supergrass will be a revelation, from the first single, "Pumping on Your Stereo," the album's standout. Its hypnotic refrain belies the party vibe and lyrics—that "p" in the title does sound like an "h." Don't even try resisting the tune's infectious hum-along power. This album presents a more mature Supergrass, along with the possibility that the band has become a tad self-conscious of its "role" in modern pop: consider darker cuts such as "Faraway," on which singer Gaz Coombes mutters, "I have to find a way to stay true to my heart." Could a Goth revivalist album be next? (Matthew Kalinowski)